Ever wonder why men find curvaceous women more attractive? Well, that’s because women with a curvy figure are brighter and give birth to brainier kids, according to a new study.
Scientists at the Universities of Pittsburgh and California found that women with large hips and small waists are cleverer than those with either “apple-shaped” or linear bodies.
The study, to be published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, also discovered that curvaceous women give birth to more intelligent children because hip fat contains polyunsaturated fatty acids critical for the development of the fetus's brain.
The researchers believe that the results shed light on why many men find curvy women more alluring.
For the research, the team used data from a study of 16,000 women and girls, which collected details of their body measurements and their scores in cognitive tests.
They found that those women with a greater difference between the waist and hips scored considerably higher on the tests, as did their children.
The researchers say that the ideal ratio for an intelligent curvy woman lies between 0.6 and 0.7.
They suggest that the fat around fuller hips and thighs contains higher levels of omega3 fatty acids which are essential for the growth of the brain during pregnancy.
The team said that their findings may also explain why children born to teenage mothers do worse in cognitive tests - because their mothers may have had deficient stores of the best fatty acids.
“The cognitive development of their children is reduced, and their own cognitive development is impaired compared with those mothers with a later first birth,” Times Online quoted the researchers, as saying.
The study noted, however, that children born to teenage girls with traditional hourglass figures seemed to be protected from this phenomenon and fared better in tests.