Sexual Dimorphism in Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Divorce Frequency in Human Populations

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Abstract

The current study tests a series of evolutionary predictions about the changing opportunities for human male mate choice and female Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) across populations. We predicted that the divorce frequency (that we used as a reflection of the frequency of male mate choice) would be positively correlated with sexual dimorphism in WHRs across human populations. With published data, we built 2 samples, 1 at the international level and the other at the national level. The results showed that sexual dimorphism in WHR is positively correlated with the divorce-to-married ratio in 68 countries worldwide, as well as in the 32 Mexican states. Taken together, our results suggest that the opportunity for human male mate choice, based on female WHR, varies among human populations. We discuss the possibility of connecting this variation to human diversity in divorce practices. We conclude that human male mate choice is a circumstantially conditioned selective process responsible for such dimorphism and suggest that cultural and social aspects are potentially powerful in examining the factors capable of strengthening or weakening the selective process.

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