Men who are stressed tend to prefer fuller-figured women, a new study has found.

British scientists compared how stressed and stress-free men responded to a variety of female body types ranging from emaciated to obese.

Viren Swami and a team from the University of Westminster in London recruited 81 straight males and assigned them to a stressed or control group. The stressed group were put under a 15 minute lab test proven to increase levels of acute psychological stress measured by free cortisol levels.

Twenty minutes after having their stress levels raised, the men were taken in to a room and asked to rate a set of 10 photographs of ranging female figures in terms of physical attractiveness. They were asked to pick the most desirable image.


Results indicated men prefer larger ladies when they're stressed, Medical Daily reported.

The study's authors said the findings suggest men are more likely to prefer "mature morphological traits" like heavier body size when they experience environmental threats - be that physical, economical or social.

They said a heavier body size might appeal to stressed out folks because it conveys strength, control and independence - traits that are desirable during when an individual is worked up.