To conduct their research, the team gathered 169 straight men and women between the ages 17 and 26. All of the participants were asked to describe what their current body type was. Then, using an app, the participants were instructed to manipulate and morph images of the other gender to look like their preferential ideal body type. So men designed a female body to show what they found attractive, and women did the same for a male body.
They also were instructed to design the ideal body of their own gender. So men manipulated male bodies and women manipulated female bodies to show what they assumed the other gender was looking for as far as body type. They did this twice, once with short-term relationships in mind and one with long-term relationships in mind.
And based on the findings, there appear to be some misconceptions.
Believe it or not, both men and women seemed to have misconstrue what the other gender was looking for as far as body type. Namely, men thought women wanted someone more muscular, and women thought men wanted someone more thin.
“Women tend to overestimate the thinness of female bodies that men prefer, and men tend to overestimate the muscularity of male bodies that women prefer,” the researchers explain in the paper in their findings. “Moreover, these misperceptions are more exaggerated for short‐term relationships.”