Researcher: Curvy women like a drug to men's brains

Men like curvaceous woman. No news there, right?

But there's a little more to it, according to a Gwinnett County professor. Women with curvy hips and smaller waists are to men as beer is to an alcoholic, according to Steven Platek of Georgia Gwinnett College.

"The Caucasian, westernized female has somehow been duped into thinking men like very skinny, waify, Kate Moss-type girls," Platek told the AJC on Tuesday.

But it's not true, according to Platek's research, published in an online science journal. Curvy women really do affect men's brains, Platek said. The amount of body fat may not even matter.

In particular, having a high hip-to-waist size ratio really gets men going, he says. Those wider hips are generally indicative of better overall physical health, and the ability to carry healthy babies.

Again, no news there -- or is there?

Platek says his research will be useful in further understanding disorders such as sexual addictions.

"This research really explains things like sexual harassment and whistling at the hot girl in the street," he said.

Devendra Singh, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, assisted with the research, Platek said. Singh has done previous research on the hip-to-waist ratio.

For the study, 14 men with the average age of 25 looked at "before" and "after" pictures of nude women who had plastic surgery to get more shapely behinds. Platek says it wasn't hard to find men to help with the study.

The women having surgery did not reduce their weight, but just had it redistributed, Platek said. All of the woman agreed to be photographed.

"They had to make some of the women fatter," Platek said.

While the men in the study looked at the pictures of the women, their brain patterns were scanned, he said. Seeing the post-operative photos of the women resulted in increased activity in the part of the brain associated with rewards, Platek said.

Platek, who will discuss his findings at a March conference in New York, said he knows the study won't come as a shock to some people. Instead, it reaffirms what many already know.

"Curviness is a trump card," Platek said. "It’s worth it’s weight in reproductive gold."

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