A woman's attractiveness relates to the size of her waist compared with her hips, it has been found. Scientists have discovered the ratio which, they say, makes for the perfect figure, reports The Daily Mail, London.
The pictures here are of supermodel Kate Moss and actress Jessica Alba, who have the perfect 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio
New Zealand anthropologist Barnaby Dixson set out to find what makes a woman attractive to men.
A group of volunteers were presented with various pictures of a woman in which her bust, waist and hips had been digitally altered and asked to rate the image for attractiveness. Infra-red cameras tracked their eyes as they looked at the photos.
Although most were initially drawn to the woman's cleavage, her hips and waist were key to attraction.
A waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 - or a waist measurement exactly 70 per cent of the hip circumference - scored the highest marks.
Examples include some of the world's most beautiful women. Marilyn Monroe, modern-day starlet Jessica Alba and Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio all possess the perfect figure.
As does Kate Moss, despite her apparent lack of curves. And the attractiveness of the hourglass figure holds true across countries and cultures, research shows.
Studies show that men in the UK, Cameroon, Germany and China, agree with those polled in New Zealand.
History tells a similar story, said Dr Dixson, of Victoria University of Wellington.
It is thought that a small waist-to-hip ratio is equated in the mind with good health and high fertility.
Dr Dixson said: 'It is likely that perfect 0.7 ratio sends a biological signal to men that that woman is most fertile and most likely to produce a healthy offspring, no matter what size that woman is.
'It is all about the distribution of fat which is directly linked to fertility.' His views chime with German research released last year. The University of Regensburg study found an hourglass figure to be more attractive than even athletic types or long-legged, bigchested 'Barbies'.
As for what women want, Dr Dixson said that men were wasting their time pumping iron in the gym as women invariably preferred a leaner, less muscle-bound physique.
'On a biological level, women are more likely to pick a leaner, even slightly more effeminate man as they equate those physical traits with being more caring and gentle and therefore a better prospect as a partner.'
He added: 'Humans simply do not mate randomly.'