Women With Wider Hips May Have More Sex, Study Suggests

Do you have “child-bearing hips?” If yes, congratulations! According to a new study, you may be having more sex than the rest of us, you minx! The Leeds University study found that body shape — specifically the shape of your hips — may have an impact on the sexual decisions women make.

Here's how it went down: 148 women between the ages of 18 and 26 who'd had at least one sexual partner participated in the study. They had their hip circumference measured at its widest point and their waist circumference measured at its narrowest point; they also completed a questionnaire about their sexual history, answering questions about when they lost their virginity and how many partners they’d had. Researchers found that women who were more inclined to have one-night stands had hips at least 0.8 inches, or two centimeters, wider than those who had had fewer ones. Those with the type of hips often referred to as “child-bearing” also tended to have more sexual partners in general.

Why is this? Apparently it has something to do with the fact that having wide hips makes giving birth a little less traumatic. Said lead author Dr. Colin A. Hendrie, “We found that women with smaller hips tended to have, throughout their entire sexual histories, just a couple of sexual partners. They really only had sex with people in the context of relationships, demonstrating a more cautious sexual strategy. If they got pregnant there would be someone in their life to help them.” He continued, “Women with large hips also had a couple of relationships over that same time frame but also had a lot more one night stands. These young women would be having seven or eight one night stands over the entire time.”

You know what I find most interesting, though? It’s not just the study — it’s the way it’s being covered by the media. More objective news outlets like the Telegraph, are phrasing it as “women with wider hips more likely to have one-night stands”; others, however, are certainly letting a more subjective opinion inform their word choice. The Toronto Sun, for example, writes, “Wide-bottomed women more likely to sleep around, research suggests”; for Science World Report, it takes the form of “Wide hips may suggest a more promiscuous woman”; and for Handbag (as it is for me), it’s “Study reveals women with bigger hips have more sex.” Think about how those headlines come across. Maybe it's just me, but, the Toronto Sun and Science World Report seem to look on both promiscuity and wide hips as bad things; Handbag, meanwhile, presents them as good things. Rather telling, considering the world's current preoccupation with who's allowed to do what with their bodies, no?

Me? I fall into the “Yay! Sex!” camp. We’re not Puritans. Sex is fun. As long as everything is safe and consensual, why the heck shouldn’t we be having it as much as we want? I also think it’s worth bearing in mind Dr. Hendrie’s parting words: “The other important thing is that this study is not reflecting what men find attractive, it is about women being in charge of their own destinies, where they can control their own sexual behavior.” What we do with our bodies is our own choice — and if that means having lots of sex, then hoorah!