We're Not Buying This New Explanation for Female Promiscuity

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Mountains of research has been done on just why some women have more sex partners than others. And, boy oh boy, the sheer range of theories on the topic would blow your mind.

A new study conducted at the University of Leeds found that women with wider hips were more likely to have more sexual partners. Importantly, their waist-to-hip ratio was not found to impact their number of sexual partners. The researchers asked 148 women aged 18 to 26 about their sexual histories and took measurements of their hips. The data showed that the women who engaged mostly in one-night stands tended to have hips that were at least two centimeters wider than those who had fewer sexual partners.

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The reason for the link? According to ScienceDaily, the researchers believe that women with wider hips "are more likely to engage in sex, because the birth process is generally easier and less traumatic for them than for smaller-hipped women." As the study's author, Colin Hendrie, writes, "Women's hip width has a direct impact on their risk of potentially fatal childbirth-related injury. It seems that when women have control over their own sexual activity this risk is reflected in their behavior. Women's sexual activity is therefore at least in part influenced by hip width."

Of course, it would be extremely difficult to prove that hip width actually causes any sort of sexual behavior—and the study author acknowledge this point—rather than just representing a mere correlation.

But, furthermore, it could be that something other than birth canals is at play. It could be that in this cultural moment, we simply value slightly larger hips, which could equate to more opportunities for casual sex for that group. If this were true, then it's possible that women across a variety of hip widths enjoy one-night stands, but those with slightly wider hips have more opportunities to have them. Standards of physical sexual attractiveness sometimes vary across cultures, so further studies across many cultures could help parse what's really going on here. [Click here to read the full story at Refinery29!]

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