Yup, that’s the sound of cynical women everywhere breathing a long sigh of relief.
A woman’s intelligence is considered far more attractive to a man than her breast size, according to University of Cambridge professor David Bainbridge, who researches evolutionary biology.
Intelligence, Bainbridge asserted at last weekend’s Hay Festival, shows that a woman is more likely to be a successful parent – which, evolutionarily, is more favorable than huge breasts.
Pointing to new research, Bainbridge took the claim even further. “Breast size doesn’t matter,” he told festival-goers, shocking just about every woman who’s ever been insecure about her chest. (So … every woman?) “Actually, large breasts are more likely to be asymmetric, and men are more attracted to symmetry.”
Biologically, the allure of intelligence is a no-brainer. “The main thing that men are looking for is intelligence. Surveys have shown time and time again that this is the first thing that men look for,” Bainbridge said. “It shows that she will be able to look after his children and that her parents were probably intelligent as well, suggesting that she was raised well.”
Another coveted female trait that doesn’t really matter? Long legs. “Straight legs are a sign of genetic health so that is something that is more attractive, but surveys have shown most men prefer regular length,” he added.
Bainbridge is the author of Curvology: The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape, where he explores evolutionary shifts in women’s bodies, as well as the way we perceive them.