The Venus of Willendorf and other small statuettes carved during the Paleolithic period suggest that this thing for curvy women could be part of a long-term trend.
A couple of neuroscientists looked through a billion publicly available Web searches from about a million people and told Salon, “There are almost three times as many searches for fat women as there are for skinny women” and “men search for penises almost as often as they search for vaginas.”
Who knew? Well, if you’re a straight man, chances are you did. —PZS
Tracy Clark-Flory interviews one of the scientists, Ogi Ogas, on Salon:
As far as men’s interest in pornography goes, what of your findings were actually surprising? Because a lot of it—like the interest in large breasts—is totally expected.
I’ll give you the top three. No. 1 is that men prefer overweight women to underweight women. There are almost three times as many searches for fat women as there are for skinny women, and lest you think that’s some way we treated the search data, this is also reflected in popularity on adult sites. There are many more video sites devoted to overweight women than underweight women. Now, I should say as a caveat that men prefer healthy weight women overall. But if the choice is between a woman with a few extra pounds or a few less pounds, most guys will choose more pounds.
The third big surprise was the parts of anatomy that men prefer. It turns out that heterosexual men very much like looking at penises.
There’s pretty overwhelming evidence for it: Men search for penises almost as often as they search for vaginas. There’s about a thousand heterosexual sites dedicated to large penises, and large penises are a category of erotica in all the major porn video sites. We think the reason for this is because it’s actually from our evolutionary heritage. If you look at all the other primates, the penis is a prominent and versatile social tool used for many different purposes—to indicate aggression, to mark territory, to indicated sexual interest. The penis may also function as a sperm competition cue. That is a very specific hard-wired cue for men to trigger arousal—basically if a man has a reason to think that a woman recently had sex with a man it makes him more aroused and the penis must play a role in that.