Study: Men, Women Love Longer Legs

A new study shows both sexes prefer mates with longer legs.

ByABC News via logo
February 9, 2009, 10:01 AM

Jan. 17, 2008 — -- If you have legs and know how to use them, then both men and women are more likely to find you attractive, according to a new study from researchers at Wroclaw University in Poland.

The research corroborated conventional wisdom, which has long held that men find women with longer legs more attractive.

"Legginess is something that we know men prefer in mates. The news in this research is that women prefer longer legs in mates," said UCLA associate psychology professor Martie Haselton.

The affinity for gammy people has been showcased in movies like "Pretty Woman," in which Julia Roberts' legs provided some emotional therapy to Richard Gere, and Vince Vaughn's legs crashed weddings and broke hearts in "Wedding Crashers."

Researchers asked more than 200 male and female volunteers to rate the attractiveness of seven male and female images. All the people in the images were same the height, but each had different leg lengths, which varied 5, 10 and 15 percent longer than the social norm.

The majority preferred legs 5 percent longer than average, followed by those that were 10 percent longer.

According to another research report the perfect shape for a woman's leg are 1.4 times the length of her upper body. Vertically gifted actress Nicole Kidman fits the bill. For those who fall short, they can thank Leonardo Da Vinci for his high-heel shoe invention, which has allowed shorter women to rise above others for decades.

But lengthy gams aren't purely aesthetic. What makes for a heavenly body also has showed they make for healthier ones, too.

"Shorter legs are associated with certain diseases type 2 diabetes cardiovascular diseases, so people might prefer slightly longer legs because they are indicative of health," Haselton said.