“It’s all in the hips” say the academics

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In the words of superstar singer song-writer Shakira - The hips don’t lie.

Not only did they land the Colombian beauty a double platinum record, but provided the perfect endorsement for academic Gayle Brewer.

Dr Gayle Brewer

Dr Gayle Brewer

For according to the University of Central Lancashire researcher hip width and risk of birth-related trauma could play a role in a woman’s decision to have sex.

A study of nearly 150 women revealed those with wider hips are more inclined to have one-night stands.

Senior psychology lecturer Dr Brewer worked with lead author Dr Colin Hendrie and Victoria Simpson from the University of Leeds on a study into how a woman’s build influences her sexual behaviour.

The results have been published in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour and, said Dr Brewer, were the by-product of deeper evolutionary research.

The study into whether hip width or waist-to-hip ratio was a better predictor of a woman’s sexual behaviour was carried among 148 women between aged 18 and 26-years-old.

All the women had had at least one sexual partner and their hip width (defined as the distance between the upper outer edges of the iliac crest bones of the pelvis) not the was measured, as well as their hip circumference at the widest point and their waist circumference at its narrowest point.

The participants completed a questionnaire about their sexual histories, the number of sexual partners they had had, and information about emotionally significant sexual relationships they had had.

The results showed that a woman’s attitude towards one night stands was reflected in the number of sexual partners she had.

This, in turn, said the academics, correlates with a woman’s hip width and not waist-to-hip ratio.

Dr Brewer said that in some respects a women’ sexual behaviour was inadvertently affected by the flight or flight response to childbirth.

Dr Brewer said that the results appeared to show 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.

She added: “Hip morphology has a direct impact on women’s risk of childbirth related injury and mortality. Women’s sexual behaviour reflects this risk, with narrow hipped women being more sexually cautious than those with wider hips.”

Overall, women in this study with hips wider than 36 centimetres (14.2 inches) had more sexual partners and more one-night stands than women with hips under 31 centimetres (12.2 inches) wide.

More specifically, the more promiscuous women had hips at least two centimetres, or nearly an inch, wider than those who only rarely has fleeting relationships.#

Dr Hendrie added, however, that statements about causality cannot be made using the current data and it remains to be seen if these conclusions can be generalised to other populations and cultures.