latest playboy scientific analysis
Last December, I mentioned a study in the British Medical Journal that analyzed the curvature of 50 years' worth of Playboy centerfolds and determined that they've become less curvaceous over the years.
Now Reuters reports on the result of another study suggesting that the relative curviness of Playboy models correlates with economic conditions.
According to researchers, a comparison of the faces and figures of Playmates of the Year from 1960 to 2000 suggests men may prefer stronger-looking women in hard times, and softer, more vulnerable types when bull markets resume.
"In short, we want someone to have fun with when times are good, and we want someone to take care of us -- and themselves -- when times are bad," said psychology researcher Dr. Terry F. Pettijohn II, of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The study, co-authored by undergraduate student Brian Jungeberg, was presented earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, in Atlanta.
Previous research has suggested that ideals of beauty and sexual attractiveness change between cultures and over time. A handful of studies have discerned a slight trend toward thinner bodies among both Playmates and Miss America contestants over the past few decades.
However, according to Pettijohn, his study is the first to consider "how social and economic conditions may have influenced these changes."
In their research, Pettijohn and Jungeberg created an annual "hard times measure" by tracking changes in U.S. statistics on unemployment, marriage, homicide and other factors for the years 1960 through 2000.
Then, using clear, front-on photographs of Playboy Playmates of the Year for each of those 40 years, the two researchers made precise measurements of key face and body dimensions.
Comparing models over the years, the researchers discovered that, in hard times, Playmates tended to be slightly older, heavier and taller, with larger waists and bigger waist-to-hip ratios. Smaller eyes -- a feature linked to "stronger" faces -- were also predominant.
In honor of this breakthrough, we present yet another small (and safe for work) Playboy centerfold gallery.