Hint: The larger you like them, the more you’re probably a sexist asshole.
In this article, published in the Atlantic yesterday, two researchers in Britain (Viren Swami and Martin Tovée) asked a group of white-British males to rate 5 3D images of women based on which they found the most attractive (the only difference in the pictures was breast size).
They then correlated each man’s preference with their answers to questions about their attitudes towards women. The prompts included: ”Intoxication among women is worse than intoxication among men”, to test a general ‘Attitudes towards women’ scale; ”I feel that many times women ﬂirt with men just to tease them or hurt them”, to test for hostility towards women*; and “Women, as compared to men, tend to have a more refined sense of culture and good taste”, to test for benevolent sexism.
They found that “men who more strongly endorsed benevolently sexist attitudes toward women, who more strongly objectiﬁed women, and who were more hostile toward women idealized a large female breast size.” While this is only the first study into the correlation between how our ‘Ideal’ effects the way we treat the ‘Real’, it is a step in the right direction to understanding the full extent of media representations, cultural norms, and socially accepted behaviors and their very real affects on how women are treated.