Lookin' Good

5 Scientific Reasons Why Women Love Big Shoulders

You can thank evolution for it.

Originally Published: 
A man with big shoulders lifting weights outside.
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Men have plenty of ridiculous insecurities about their bodies, but worrying about the size of their shoulders may be a legitimate one. Multiple studies confirm that women are more attracted to men with large, muscular shoulders — perhaps because they’re indicative of his status and potential to become a dad. These studies explain why men have to carry the weight of the world — well, you know where.

Big Shoulders Are More Important Than Waist-To-Hip Ratio

A person’s waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) has been shown to accurately predict health, fitness, and attractiveness for both men and women. And although there is an optimal WHR for male attractiveness (it’s 0.8, if you’re curious) another study found that women don’t care much about a man’s hip-to-waist ratio — they care about waist-to-chest ratio. Guys with bodies shaped like an inverted triangle, or bigger shoulders and smaller waists, are considered more attractive across the board. A body shape of V stands for victory.

Big Shoulders Are Also More Important Than How Fat You Are

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an important factor in how women rate men’s attractiveness. But it, too, is not nearly as important as their shoulder size, research reveals. Men who are overweight may not be struggling as much as they think — as long as they keep those extra pounds in their shoulders.

Big Shoulders Might Intimidate Other Men

Women are not alone in their preference for men with large shoulders. Guys regard this as an ideal body type as well, one study found. Men participating in the study cited shoulders as generally one of the most important body parts, and noted that muscular ones are crucial. Men also said that their shoulders were one of the body parts they’d like to change most, particularly to make them appear bigger and stronger. Ultimately, most men thought that big shoulders were symbols of strength, dominance, and manliness, so they may keep other guys from picking a fight with you.

They Might Make You More Money

Men with stronger shoulders are perceived as better leaders with higher status than their peers, one study found. From an evolutionary perspective, this might be because humans tend to associate status with attractiveness, which is why attractive people tend to make more money. Since larger shoulders are likely to make men more attractive, they may also be status symbols that make bulkier guys more likely to get the promotion than their counterparts — and they don’t even have to wrestle for it.

Men With Big Shoulders May Make Better Dads

As much as broad shoulders are a symbol of attractiveness, strength, and status, what these big guys really have going for them the most is that they’re more likely to become dads. That’s because their attractiveness makes them more likely to attract mates and be more discerning about it when they do. One top of that, attractiveness also sends a message that they’re more genetically fit and their offspring are more likely to survive, while their strength shows they can protect their families. Finally, their capacity to obtain status and resources means they’ll be good providers for the kids.

And that’s a responsibility you should be happy to shoulder.

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