The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Move over Marilyn, enter Eva

Paris, Dec. 19 (AFP): Men’s taste in women has changed dramatically over the last half-century, shifting away from girls with curves and big breasts and towards rivals who are androgynous and skinny, a study says.

The assertion comes from two psychoanalysts who pored over every Playboy from December 1953 onwards — probably one of the most coveted jobs ever allotted in scientific research — and calculated the body mass index of every centrefold.

Over 577 issues, the models became taller and their waist increased, while their hips became narrower and their bust smaller.

If Playboy is any guide, the needle on the male sexual compass has switched from Marilyn Monroe to Eva Herzigova, the scientists say.

The body of evidence is a slap to evolutionary biologists who contend that men have always preferred women with big curves because of the association of breasts and hips with health and fertility. The evolutionists’ argument is that males are attracted to women who offer the best prospect for passing on their genes.

“These temporal trends are at odds with claims that centrefolds’ body shapes are still more ‘hourglasses’ than ‘stick insects’ and that the maximally sexually attractive female waist:hip ratio is stable,” the authors of the new study say.

The research, conducted by Martin Voracek of the University of Vienna Medical School and Maryanne Fisher of York University, Toronto, is published in next Saturday’s British Medical Journal.

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