In Study 1, 55 young women responded that they preferred men with hairy chests and circumcised penises. The chest was the male body part reported to be most "sexually stimulating" to females. The busts were the female body part most "sexually stimulating" to males (n = 34). In Study 2, men ( n = 35) preferred larger busts than women typically possess on the average, but the women (n = 48) tended to overestimate the bust size most preferred by males. The ratings of bust-revealing clothing showed the males were more desirous of actually seeing the naked bust than females appear to realize.
A more accurate knowledge of what is sexually arousing for males and females would be helpful in research on sexual problems.
In Study 1, subjects, 55 female and 34 male undergraduates of Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia, were asked to respond to a printed questionnaire given to them outside of class. The choices presented were illustrated with color photographs of opposite-sex body parts from magazines such as Playgirl and Viva which use subjects with well-formed body parts.
One question asked female subjects to specify preference for a circumcised or uncircumcised penis. Forty-seven subjects (89%) responded that they preferred the circumcised penis, and 6 (11%) responded that they preferred the uncircumcised penis.2 In regard to amount of chest hair, 24 (46%) answered that they preferred a "Very Hairy Chest," 24 (46%) answered in favor of a "Moderately Hairy Chest," and 4 (8%) responded that they preferred a "Bare Chest." Female subjects were shown photographs of the well-formed legs, buttocks, chest, and penis of males. They were asked to rank these from most (number 1) to least (number 4) "sexually stimulating." Twenty-four subjects (51%) ranked the chest as most sexually stimulating, 11 subjects (23%) rated the penis as number 1, 8 (17%) ranked legs as most stimulating and 4 subjects (9%) ranked buttocks number 1. The male body parts were given weighted scores by assigning 4 for being chosen most "sexually stimulating," a 3 for being ranked second etc. The weighted scores were chest, 148; legs, 111; buttocks, 103; and penis, 103. Ten of the female subjects did not rank the male body parts or gave incomplete rankings.
Male subjects were asked to rank from most to least sexually stimulating the buttocks, busts, legs, and genitals of females. Thirteen subjects (38%) chose busts, 8 (24%) chose buttocks, 7 (21%) genitals, and 6 (18%) legs. The female body parts were given weighted scores in the same manner as the male body parts. Resulting weighted scores were: bust, 103; buttocks, 94; legs, 73; and genitals, 70.
Since the bust was the most preferred female body part, Study 2 was designed to investigate this preference in more detail. These subjects were 48 female and 35 male undergraduates of Georgia College. They were shown 16 color photographs of the unclothed busts of young women. The female subjects estimated the bust sizes of the photographs. These estimated bust sizes were later used in quantifying data from a questionnaire which asked male and female subjects to select the bust size they preferred.
|1st Choice||2nd Choice||Average|
|Own cup size||4.2 (B; SD 1.59)|
|Think men prefer||6.4 (C; SD 1.62)||5.9 (C; SD 1.71)||6.2 (C; SD 1.41)|
|Would prefer to be||5.4 (B+; SD 1.38)||5.4 (B+; SD 1.33)||5.4 (B+; SD 1.16)|
|Prefer||5.4 (B+; SD 1.51)||6.2 (C; SD 1.98)||5.8 (C; SD 1.42)|
|Think women would prefer to have||6.0 (C; SD 1.94)||6.0 (C; SD 1.62)||6.0 (C; SD 1.56)|
Note. -- Numerical scores used for estimated bust sizes by females: Less than A = 1, A = 2, A+ = 3, B = 4, B+ = 5, C = 6, C+ = 7, D = 8, D+ = 9, larger than D+ = 10.
Table 1 shows the mean weighted bust cup scores for sizes chosen by both male and female subjects. This figure was derived by averaging the weighted scores (estimates of cup size by female subjects) for the selected photographs. Also shown are the translations of the numerical scores into alphabet cup sizes and standard deviations. This is done for both first and second choices and the averages (mean of the choices). In terms of first choices, female subjects thought that males would prefer a size "C" bust. Males actually chose a mean siz: of "B+" as their first choice. Females apparently tended to overestimate somewhat the bust sizes preferred by males. The women in this sample had a mean bust size of B and would prefer to have a B+ bust, concurring with the males as to what is the ideal bust size.
Several clothing styles were selected by a higher proportion of males than females: "No-bra," "see-through blouse," and "nipples visible." It appears that males are more desirous of actually seeing the unclothed bust than females realize.
Accepted January 29, 1976.
1 Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert W. Wildman, Central State Hospital, Milledgeville, Georgia 31062. This article is a summary of a larger report-, a copy is available free of charge from the first author.
2 Failure of the responses to sum to the total N was caused by the failure of some subjects to respond to some questions.