Bernhard Fink, Dominique Klappauf, Gayle Brewer, and Todd K Shackelford (2014)

Female physical characteristics and intra-sexual competition in women

Personality and Individual Differences, 58:138-141.

Women engage in intra-sexual competition to attract or to retain a mate. Given men’s preferences for certain female physical characteristics, women may be attuned to potential rivals who display such traits. We examined how variation in facial femininity, breast size, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) affects perceived competition and attractiveness judgments in a sample of German female undergraduates. Thirty-five women ranked five images of each stimulus type according to perceived competition and rated these images for attractiveness and femininity. Women with more feminine faces, larger breasts, and lower WHRs received higher attractiveness and femininity ratings and were ranked highest on perceived competition. The results indicate the occurrence of human female intra-sexual competition with respect to physical traits desired by potential mates.