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ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

If you believed the recent social media hype then you may be under the impression that the hashtag #dadbod actually represented a trend for women to be attracted to men with unsculpted, but fit, fairly natural bodies.

According to University of Queensland School of Psychology PhD candidate Andi Alperin, however, the research does not back this up.

‘‘Dad bod’ is supposedly this physique that represents people who go to the gym two or three times a week, but still enjoy a few beers and a pizza. However studies show women very much have a predilection towards the stereotypical V-shape and there has been little movement on that front. Women are surprisingly more set in their ways than men.’

While Alperin is sceptical of the ‘Dad bod’ phenomenon, she believes there are some positives to come from it. ‘There’s not a whole lot of research about what women find attractive – certainly historically – which is sad in itself. Plenty of people abide by the theory that female attraction is based on evolutionary survival instinct and that a big, muscular body offers protection. If you were take that line to the supposed ‘Dad bod’ craze, then it might be argued that body shape represents someone who is less likely to leave and will sacrifice their own time for family time.’

‘In some ways ‘Dad bod’ is just as subjective and unattainable as other popularised notions. How do you care a little about how you look, but not too much? It’s very ambiguous. Part of me thinks this has spread so far because people influencing the media want it to be true. It makes them feel better about themselves, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing’ Alperin concluded.

Source: University of Queensland

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