As Shakira says, your hips don't lieÃ¢â‚¬”and that's about to take on a whole new meaning. A woman's hip width has a significant correlation with her sexual behavior, according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Researchers enlisted 148 women between 18 and 26 years old around the University of Leeds in the U.K. A researcher measured each participant's hip width, which was defined as the distance between the upper outer edges of the iliac crest bones of the pelvis. They were then presented with a questionnaire asking them about their sexual histories, including age of virginity loss, number of sexual partners, and any emotionally significant sexual relationships. They also measured their waist-to-hip ratio, which previous research considered a crucial measure of female attractiveness.
Surprisingly, they found that hip width was correlated with the total number of sexual partners, total number of one-night stands, percentage of sexual partners that were one night stands, and number of sexual partners per year of sexual activity. And the strongest association was between greater hip width and more frequent one night stands: "[W]omen who predominantly engaged in one night stand behavior had wider hips than those whose sexual activity was mainly within the context of a relationship," note the study authors in the journal article. But interestingly, waist-to-hip ratio did not seem to influence sexual history at all.
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We have to admit, this is a very odd correlation and one we've never considered before. Obviously, we'd like to think our sexual histories are determined by our desire to have sexÃ¢â‚¬”not our bone structure. So, um, why does this association exist? The researchers suggest is has evolutionary roots: "Women's hip morphology has a direct impact on their risk of potentially fatal childbirth related injury. It is concluded that when they have control over this, women's sexual behavior reflects this risk and is therefore at least in part influenced by hip width," reports the study. Essentially, they're implying that women with smaller hips are more sexually selective since they're at an elevated risk of complications from childbirth.
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It seems like a stretch to us, but hey, it's still an interesting finding. And obviously, this doesn't mean you should let your hip size dictate your sex life. Instead, ask yourself these four questions before you hook up with someone to make sure you're totally satisfied with the experience.
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Editor's note: We changed the language in the opening paragraph from "significant influence on" to "significant correlation with" because the original wording implied that the study found causation, not correlation. The study found a connection between hip width and sexual partners, but that does not mean that having wide hips CAUSES you to have multiple partners. Correlation does not equal causation, and we try hard to be careful about the distinction in our reporting. We apologize for the oversight in this case.