Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences on Attractiveness of Venus Figurines with Varying Waist-to-Hip Ratio’s

Student: Miranda Maple

Mentor: Karisa Terry

Abstract

Venus Figurines from Eurasian Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites have several origin theories, ranging from fertility deities to forms of self-expression, either way, something about the figurines was considered valuable – valuable enough to be produced in the past and now studied in the archeological record. Is there something that our early human ancestors found attractive in the figurines that we also find attractive today? Studies of Waist-Hip-Ratios (WHR) of human populations correlates higher degree of perceived physical attractiveness of females by males to those with WHR between 0.60-0.80 (e.g. Bovet 2019; Marlowe et al. 2005; Singh 1993). Archaeologists (Dixson and Dixson 2011) have correlated these findings of living human populations to level of attractiveness of Venus Figurines from Eurasian Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites. However, none of these studies have considered how gender and sexual orientation play a role in how humans perceive attractiveness of Venus Figurines with a WHR that exceeds 0.06-0.80. This study incorporates sexual orientation, gender identity, and WHR as variables in determining level of attractiveness of Venus Figurines through questionnaires of CWU students, staff, and community members. We expect that the figurines with the closest to a desirable WHR (0.60-0.80) will be deemed most attractive. Additionally, results from the questionnaire are compared to the expectation that the familiarity of the Venus of Willendorf figurine from popular culture should result in this figurine having a high attractiveness score regardless of WHR.

Presentation

2 thoughts on “Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences on Attractiveness of Venus Figurines with Varying Waist-to-Hip Ratio’s”

  1. Thanks for sharing your interesting work. Given your findings, what symbolic meanings do you think might be significant?

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