For women, looks may matter more if they live in the city than in rural areas, a new study finds. The results, which are based on body shape rather than overall beauty, showed that in cities the most attractive gals had higher social and psychological well-being.That same link wasn’t found for country residents. The researchers suggest with higher population densities –cities offer more potential friends and sexual partners, allowing city folks to be choosier and so theoretically able to select the cream of the crop to associate with.
Though the study is based on women, the researchers suspect similar results would hold for men, with their physical appeal also impacting their personal lives more so in cities where a more“free market” of relationships exists.
In rural areas, people don’t tend to handpick their pals. “Rural areas have more embedded networks for relationships, more densely overlapping relationships where you see the same people and are friends with the same people across time,”said study researcher Victoria Plaut, a cultural and social psychologist at the University of Georgia. “If there is more security, then attractiveness is less likely to matter for forming friendships.”
Scientists analyzed survey data from women ages 26 to 75 within city and rural communities across the United States. They used waist-to-hip ratios as a proxy for a woman’s physical desirability, comparing that with personal assessments of well-being, such as life satisfaction, self-acceptance,feelings of control, and interaction with and support from friends. “We don’t know how waist-to-hip ratio represents ‘overall’ attractiveness, only that studies have found it to be related to judgments of female attractiveness,” Plaut said. In fact, past research has shown that women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 –indicating a waist significantly narrower than the hips – are most desirable to men.
科学家分析了对美国城市社会及乡村社会26 ～ 75 岁的女性的调查。他们将腰臀比作为女性身体吸引力的替代参数，将其与个人健康状况评估进行对比，其中包括生活满意度、自我接受度、掌控感、与朋友的互动度以及朋友的支持度等。“我们不清楚腰臀比与‘完美女人’之间是何关系，这项研究仅发现腰臀比与女性身体的吸引力有关。”普劳特说。实际上，过去的研究已经得出结论：腰臀比为0.7 的女性——体现为腰部明显比臀部窄——最让男性渴望。
Overall, the women who lived in cities were just as happy as their rural counterparts. But the researchers found a stronger correlation between level of desirability and contentment with themselves and their social lives for urbanites than those living in the country.
The data also pointed to differences in the structures of the social scenes. Urban residents tended to enjoy more frequent contact with individual friends while rural residents felt a greater sense of belonging within their larger community.
In addition to attractiveness,Plaut said other traits such as intelligence and personality might also cement social connections. “I think anything that is typically used to sort as a matter of choice,” she said.
The findings suggest the importance of being attractive to your happiness is not universal, and that its significance is more a matter of culture than human nature.