Gentlemen Prefer Big Boobs?

470_2580418A new study on men’s breast size preferences may or may not be surprising.

University of Westminster researchers showed 361 British men 3-D models of women with different bust sizes and asked which woman they found most attractive.

A lot of women think that men only like big breasts, but this study says otherwise. Yes, nearly half – 44% – favored larger busts. But more than half didn’t, with one third preferring medium-sized gals and another quarter saying smaller is better. So there’s a range.

And, the researchers focused on white men because prior studies showed that preference varies by ethnicity. Once again, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

It all goes against pop evolutionary psychology which claims men want bigger breasts because they indicate health and fertility. First of all, most men don’t prefer larger over smaller. Second, if men preferred larger, then those genes would have been spread more widely and we’d have a lot more large busted women around today. Finally, there is no evidence that large breasts are associated with better health or fertility.

And even men who love big breasts may come to love more petite women, and vice-versa, as many can attest.

So ladies, you needn’t get expensive and potentially dangerous surgeries (which need to be redone every ten years) for implants.

And here’s another reason you don’t need them: Men who preferred big boobs were more likely to be sexist.

After indicating their breast preferences the guys were surveyed on how much they objectified women, felt hostility toward them and practiced benevolent sexism (seeing women as weak and needing protection).

Turns out, a preference for large breasts was most common among men in all three of those sexist categories, and most especially, among those who saw women as weak.

Now, men who are partial to buxom women aren’t always sexist. The Western world acts like “bigger is better” so no surprise that many men come to think so.

At the same time, the pattern makes a certain amount of sense. One researcher suggested that,

It is arguable that benevolently sexist men perceived larger female breasts as attractive because larger breast size on a woman is associated with perceived femininity.

And if you are going to objectify, it helps to easily see the crucial body parts.

That said, women should be confident and proud of their bodies, however they are shaped. That confidence will attract the best guys.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in body image, feminism, men, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. And what breast size do women prefer?
    What is the favorite for women?

    • Ha, ha! (Given my last post).

      Oddly enough, we have some information on that because of pornographers who target the women’s audience. What they know is that women prefer a natural look. They don’t like pumped up fake breasts.

      Men are more likely to like fake looking women. Again, must be a learned response to prefer fake. And it goes against any biological explanation for men’s preferences (to prefer something not found in nature) and so it goes against evolutionary psychology, too.

  2. I believe body shape is more important than breast size. Breast size is only one (albeit important) component of body shape. There is a correlation between breast size and waist size. Very few women have naturally large breasts and a small waist. I think researchers try to over-simplify this subject.

  3. LOL, that last part was hilarious. Thanks for the morning giggle 😉 Good to know I still have some hope being small, haha.

  4. I’m a little confused on ‘benevolent sexism’. So if a man gives up his seat on a train or opens the car door on a date, is he sexist? How many women practice this kind of sexism thinking they should be treated this way?

    • Holding a door open needn’t be sexist, unless the man does it cause he thinks you’re too weak to do it yourself, which is ludicrous. When someone opens the door for the President when he walks into Congress it’s out of respect, not weakness. The door ceremony seems to be a counterbalance to a sexist society: putting women periodically on a pedestal to make up for so much sexism.

      Benevolent sexism is trying to protect women from the cold hard world: stay home where it’s safe, don’t get a job. And be sure to avoid high-paying dangerous jobs or jobs that require you to lift 30 lbs, for instance.

  5. BB, So much ado about breasts. My breasts did fine for feeding my babies. I hear that all sizes work for this. But they have interfered in archery and chest hooping on occasion. Seems a balance overall. 😉 Alice

  6. Wow, great post, and to your comment above, where you say men prefer fake, it s a nice twist on the old–gentlemen prefer blondes. Sigh. I think most men are happy to play with breasts, whatever the size, when and if they can. I do wonder what this Western breast fetish does to women’s self-perceptions after mastectomy, though. Did you ever write about that? Would be interested in reading that, if you have.

  7. Well, to reply to the comment above, I actually do have naturally large breasts paired with a small waist, though I’ll acknowledge that my shape seems relatively rare. I tend to avoid men who are fixated on breasts or particularly attracted to large breasts. In my experience, these are the type of men who are most likely to ignore my discomfort with their touching or leering or comments.

    My feeling is that many men do find large breasts attractive, especially on a woman with an hourglass shape, but that a buxom look is only one component of attractiveness for most well-adjusted, non-fetishizing men. Most men are not going to seek out a large-breasted woman at the expense of every other trait, and a minority of men seem to prefer small breasts anyway.

    I have read that larger-breasted women tend to be more fertile and to have higher levels of estrogen, but there are many other indicators of fertility for men to focus on. If I could have had any say in the matter, I would have preferred to be small in the bustline. At times, I’ve had a waist sixteen inches smaller than my bust. That kind of ratio makes procuring a respectable-looking wardrobe a nightmare.

    • Thanks for your perspective.

      No evidence at all that large breasts mean more estrogen. Having your weight go to your hips is also estrogen related and creates a pear shape.

  8. Natthinee Sutjaitham

    Every woman should be proud of what God has given them. There is no need to feel self-conscious or ashamed, worrying whether or not your breasts are too big, or too small. Guys do like large boobs but good guys like personality more. The guys who care about women’s boobs types see women as objects not people. Guys who think that “bigger is better” are shallow and personally I feel aren’t worth dealing with. This might sound idealistic but its the person inside that is important. the nicest and most decent guys are the ones who dont care about big boobs or small boobs and are just after a good solid relationship.

  9. Men prefer bigger breasts and buttocks because they’re hardwired to look for indicators of health and nutrients storage which increase chances of survival in the hard days of the Stone Age. Men also prefer smaller breasts and buttocks because they’re hardwired to look for indicators of youth, since older mates increase chances of genetic defects in offspring. Men are also hardwired to like medium-sized breasts and buttocks because of a gradient between these two factors.

    Whatever it is, you name it – men are hardwired for it. I’m still working out why we’re hardwired to post comments on blogs (it might pump up testosterone levels, thus increasing appeal for the females), but Science will eventually discover it, as it always does.

    You want to argue with NATURE, like you’re some sort of CREATIONIST, be my guest.

  10. “Gentlemen Prefer Big Boobs?” Wow, the title seems quite demeaning for us “ladies”! Why not “Guys prefer large breasts” instead? Is “Gentlemen” still appropriate? Except maybe on the doors of the male restrooms in the fancy country clubs? Why are we never asked, us “ladies,” what are our preferences on men’s breast size? “A new study on men’s breast size preferences may or may not be surprising:” a quick reading of the first sentence of the article made me think that it was about men’s breast size? Men have breast as well -they can even get breast cancer- and us “ladies” like their breasts to be firm, not sagging to the point that they could use a bra – to refer to the Seinfeld sitcom episode where they imagined a market for the “bro,” a male bra. Some of us like them smooth and glabrous like those of the Greek marble statues when others are aroused by the hairy gorilla style.
    I hate the association of words “big” + “boobs” but I admit that people could use it to say “big fake boobs” because this is such a stupidity: how can women torture themselves to adhere to standards of beauty that are just in their imagination? Do you ladies think that Dolly Parton ages well? Do you really think that men are fools? If they like big breasts, they expect that “they’re real – and they’re spectacular” to quote a dialogue in another Seinfeld episode. But fortunately this is not even what the findings show: “A lot of women think that men only like big breasts, but this study says otherwise.” I was glad to read that! All the women like me with a body like the Venus of Willendorf certainly know that there is no advantage in having larger cup sizes. “C” is OK but “D” is a failing grade! How can you run, jump, hold your back straight, dress with a blouse without the buttons popping out or wear a strapless gown without a bra? We are not porno stars and we hate to show off what for us is a handicap.
    “If men preferred larger, then those genes would have been spread more widely and we’d have a lot more large busted women around today. Finally, there is no evidence that large breasts are associated with better health or fertility.” Yes, having large breasts is an inherited trait most of the time. In medical terms it is called “hypertrophy” with “hyper” like in hypertension or hyperglycemia. Hyper is not good, hyper is not normal and not a sign of better health. When it comes to being a symbol of fertility, the archeologists can’t agree on the use of the statuette of the Venus of Willendorf. It is not even certain that it represented the norms of beauty 20,000 years ago. It is very detailed but has no face, no hands, no feet, very similar to a 21st century female sex object with no identity, no power, no way to escape, except that, thousands of year ago, men had more logic: the “venus” had large breasts and a big belly as well..!

  11. It is scary that a lot of women in urban areas are undergoing surgeries to enlarge their breasts considerably. Furthermore, it is scary that there are a lot of men who find women with giant silicone breasts more sexy than women with natural breasts. In today’s world, it seems that something that is big is always better than something that is small. I hope that people are not swayed so easily by the fake world that the mass media and advertisers created to benefit themselves. It makes one think that he or she is imperfect. It makes one think that stuffing lumps of silicone in her breasts is a great idea. No, it is a horrendous idea. There is no need for someone to artificially transform oneself when there is nothing that is wrong with him or her in any way.

  12. Johnny Wilcox alias

    very hot topic! do men really prefer big boobs? i would say its a matter of taste. i can only talk for myself and i have a tendency to like larger breasts, but its not the only thing i look at when i see a woman and it would be really stupid to do so. Of course, big boobs are attractive simply because they represent feminity, but a woman shouldnt be defined by the size of her breast, they have so much more to offer!

    • You’re an idiot who contradicts himself:

      “Big breasts signify femininity, but women should not be defined by their breasts”.

      What is the point of your comment saying that you can only speak for yourself as a man that likes larger breasts? And? What’s your point? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? The article already clearly states that some men like large breasts and some like small ones. Your comment was half stupidity and half redundancy.

  13. Men always say they do not care about the size of boobs. But once it turned out that their girl friend have bigger boobs, they are still happier.
    .

    • Believe it or not, different men actually do have different preferences with regard to boob size. And the fetish only works for a very short time with any particular woman, anyway, so some men have mentioned that they don’t care at all about breast size when it comes to relationships.

  14. As I understand it, the only things we are biologically predisposed to like are a certain ratio of hip to waist size (indicating good energy reserves and a more successful mate) and symmetry, the lack of which indicates severe undernourishment or disease.

    Everything else – feet, breast size, hair, upturned noses, or any of the other countless anatomical features we’ve fixated on over the centuries – appear to be societal constructs.

  15. Pedro Contreras

    I think different men have different taste , some men may like girls with bigger breast , some may like a girl with a bigger booty or some guy may just want a nice genuine girl that they have a lot of in common with. it just varies. but me personally i like a girl that has a beautiful smile and a good body i wont mine bigger breast but its not like thats the first thing i look at when im trying to get with a girl.

  16. Jenna Francisco

    I agree that men would rather much be more attracted to confidence over large breasts because it is true that if breasts are the only things that guys are attracted to, then they are benevolent sexists. Basically, breasts, any size, are superficial determinants of how a woman is. You can’t know how a women is by there breasts. Confidence is a personality aspect that shows inner beauty. I, being a small breasted girl, am quite confident in the way I look. There are certain times where I wish they were a bit bigger but I’m satisfied enough.

    • I wish you were my mom. I wish I had a decent mother to tell me these things. My mom was a narcissistic bitch that had it drilled into my head that “all men cheat and you should just accept it. Your breasts need to be bigger”. I am a full 34B cup and I had to teach myself that there is nothing wrong with my breasts.

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