Natural and Augmented Breasts: Is What is Not Natural Most Attractive? (2012)
Natural and augmented breasts differ in size and shape. Natural breasts are characterized by concave-to-straight upper-pole contours while augmented breasts are fuller and therefore may have convex upper-pole contours, irrespective of their size. The hypothesis that augmented breasts in a range of cup sizes are rated significantly more attractive than naturalistic breasts was investigated and confirmed using computer generated images of breasts in lateral-view by all males and females cross-culturally in English and Farsi speaking samples. Correlations were then used to show that, for all participants, breast area and breast displacement (concavity or convexity) are positively correlated with attractiveness ratings for natural but not augmented breasts. These results are counter-intuitive since humans could not have evolved in environments that included augmented breasts. The findings are introduced using the ethological concept of supernormal stimuli and the behaviorist/neuroaesthetic principle, the peak shift effect, applied to secondary sexual characteristics (i.e., waist-hip ratios and breasts) and it is concluded that augmented breasts, though deceptive signals of fertility, are supernormal stimuli.