In recent years research have shown that women's two potentially critical cues are shape and weight. Generally, the shape in women a female physical attractiveness judgements are well based on body mass index (BMI) and body shape index (WHR). (Buss, 1994, 1999; Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Symons, 1995) argued that for existence of universally shared criteria of attractiveness are potent cues to a person reproductive successes.
While some research has undertaken investigation of a physical female attractiveness on cross national preferences (Buss, 1994, 1999; Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Symons, 1995) other research carry on the perception of visual attraction M.J.Tovee, D.S.Maisey, J.L.Emery and P.L.Cornelissen (1999).
Concentrating on Japanese and Britain male participants the research highlights the relationship between gender physical attractiveness. 32 men participants from Britain and Japan were asked to rate a set of images of real women with known BMI and WHR. Physical attractiveness was significantly related to gender perceptions in both males and females, with natural body movement and tight-fitting clothes. To generate images, consenting participants were recorded on video standing in set of pose at a standard distance (Tovee et al., 1999). This method generally depict the female form from one perspective in two-dimensional space. The results showed that there were significant differences in preferences for physical attractiveness, with Japanese participants preferring images of women with significantly lower BMIs than Britons. With Japanese and Briton participants preferring images of women with significantly lower BMI than Britons the primary determinant of male attractiveness is upper body shape, specifically west chest ratio. This research address an intra class reliability of data collection that have a significant impact on the attractiveness judgements of observers. Intra class reliability measures was based on internal consistency and content analysis. Tove´e et al. (1999) showed that the most attractive females had a
BMI value between 18 and 19, which coincides with the optimal value for health and fertility.
M.J.Tovee, D.S.Maisey, J.L.Emery and P.L.Cornelissen (1999) address that visual cues to female physical attractiveness is based on cues of health and reproductive potential.
Their studies show that calorific satisfaction can influence preference for female body weight using a different dependent variable, namely photographic stimuli of women with known body weight and shape. In order to test the validity and create the images (Singh 1993a, b,1994 a,b, 1995; Henss 1995; Furnham et al. 1997; Tassinary & Hansen 1998) consenting women were recorded on video standing in a set pose at a standard distance, wearing tight grey body suit and leggings.
(Toveee, Mason, Emery, McCluskey &Cohen Tovee, 1997) argued the finding that the BMI could be the primary determinant of physical abstraction is consistent with the fact that the successful female fashion models all fall within a narrow BMI range. M'J.Tovee, D.S. Maisey , J.L.Emery and P.L. Cornelissen highlits the similarities on the basis of visual attraction. Often those stimuli are line drawings or photographs that depict the women in artificial ways, i.e., with faces and other.
(Singh 1993a, b,1994 a,b, 1995; Henss 1995; Furnham et al. 1997; Tassinary & Hansen 1998) studies have confirmed the use of high resolution, colour photographic images is a more precise on ratings of attractiveness in ways that more closely approach real-life decision than the line drawings used to date. Second, it allows the data here to be compared with respect to previous studies that have used the same methodology and analysis in Japan and Britan (e.g Maisey, Vale, Conelissen and Tovee, 1999).
Of particular relevance to my research is the women's perception of male attractiveness. When women are asked to rate male images in the same format and under the same experimental conditions, the primary determinant of male attractiveness is upper body shape specifically waist-chest ratio (Maisey Vale, Cornelissen & Tovee 1999).
While (Buss, 1994, 1999; Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Symons, 1995) study theoretically and empirically relevant respond to female visual attractiveness (Tovee et al., 1999) study support that, one simply does not need to be very sensitive to shape cues for manifestation of cultural norms at the individual level. However, the current status of male attractiveness in Japan exists a hierarchy of cues used in partner selection. Tovee et al (2002) have argued that the linkage of WHR with fertility is far weaker than that of BMI with fertility, and this may be a poor predictor of attractiveness..
The Japanese culture has been described as placing a strong emphasis on conformity to social norms (Matsumoto, 1994) and this play a role in propagating extremely thin ideal in attractiveness. This argument is supported with a number of magazines articles featuring this ideal in attractiveness. With regards to Japanese women the modernisation has brought changes that have created conflicting demands on young women to seek for career possibility whilst maintaining their physical attractiveness (Lee & Lee, 2000).
Sociocultural factors in Japan play an important role in defining standard of attractiveness. Despite their cultural differences both studies suggested that BMI than WHR is major factor in determining physical attractiveness. The importance of body shape to physical attractiveness may vary according to sex roles in different cultural settings with preference to 'traditional' body shapes Furnham and Graves (1994).
Both studies indicate the importance of women physical attraction varies in two cross cultures. Secondly, acknowledging that the BMI plays a major rule in the perception of attractiveness, what visual cues can carry out an accurate reliable measure of an individuals BMI. Thirdly, is BMI the major cue to physical attractiveness rather than WHR.
The limitation of this paper study addressed the need for more ecologically valid tests of evolutionary theories about the determinants of female physical attractiveness. BMI and WHR. Swami suggest that non Western cultures may share with Western cultures an ideology that values thinness (Rieger, Touyz, Swain & Beumont, 2001). (Buss, 1994) study highlight the importance on research on the determinants of female attractiveness using more ecologically valid stimuli, but other findings in this study did not replicate previous research.
However, both studies indicate that of the determinants of female physical attractiveness is BMI rather then MHR. These findings highlight the importance of using more ecologically valid stimuli in order to get a complete and accurate understanding of the determinants and consequences of gender physical attractiveness. In reviewing the literature it is obvious that much of this debate has centred on quantitative research whereas qualitative research explore attitudes and behaviour through such methods.