Men with retrograde gender attitudes like retro, Bettie Page–esque figures, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Westminster in the UK. The survey appeared last month in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, but it could have been conducted in any bar anywhere.
The researchers asked 361 heterosexual white men, ages 18 to 68, to rate the attractiveness of five figurines whose breast size ranged from miniature to supersize. The men's preferences were noted alongside their answers to a questionnaire that measured their feelings about gender relations and their level of hostility toward women, and tracked their degree of "benevolent" sexism and their tendency to objectify women.
Most men (32.7 percent) preferred the figure with the medium-size breasts. The large and very large sizes came in second (24.4 percent) and third (19.1 percent), respectively. Small and very small lost out, with 15.5 percent and 8.3 percent of the vote. Democracy!
The guys who preferred large and certifiably huge breasts scored highest on the sexism questionnaire, exhibiting more overt as well as "benevolent" sexism—plus good old hostility and objectification—than their brethren who liked the more modest-size boobs. This correlation was the highest with "benevolent" (sorry, I just have to keep putting that in quotes) sexism. "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," the researchers write.
The study did not rule on whether breast men or ass men are more woman friendly.