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Official SCIENCE*: HIGH HEELS make you SEXY (Ladies)

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However uncomfortable, overly expensive and impractical killer heels may be, think again before ditching them for your next night out: new science has proved high-heeled shoes definitely make women look sexy.

In the same year CERN boffins found the Higgs Boson in a gigantic underground particle accelerator, an academic study titled How wearing high heels affects judgements of female attractiveness found that wearing high heels made women seductively gyrate and swing their hips.

The shoes also reduced their stride, affected the way their entire bodies moved and made them walk in a more feminine fashion.

Researchers at the UK's University of Portsmouth concluded this month that "high heels exaggerate sex specific aspects of female gait and women walking in high heels could be regarded as a supernormal stimulus".

Wearing flat shoes made women less attractive than those in high heels, according to the brainiacs at the university's Department of Psychology and Department of Sports and Exercise Science.

Female test subjects in the study were filmed walking in 6cm-high heels and flats; their faces were not seen in the footage played back to the men and women asked to judge the attractiveness and femininity of the walkers. A point-light system that placed markers on the subjects' bodies was used to show the raters just the movements of the walkers rather than their actual form.

Women who wore flat shoes were also most likely to be mistaken for men than the women who wore high heels in the walking tests.

According to the research:

There is a strong contemporary association between high heels and female sexuality. We investigated the hypothesis that one motivation for women wearing high heels is that it artificially increases the femininity of gait.

We isolated the effects of heels on gait using point-light methodology. Females were recorded walking in flat shoes and high heels. Participants viewed point-light videos of the women wearing the two types of shoe. Participants judged the females in the heels condition as significantly more attractive (with a large effect size) than the females in the flat shoe condition.

Biomechanical analyses revealed that wearing high heels led to increased femininity of gait including reduced stride length and increased rotation and tilt of the hips.

This groundbreaking study was published this month in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behavior. It was written by Paul H. Morris, Jenny White, Edward R. Morrison and Kayleigh Fisher. ®

Bootnote

*Well, Psychology and Sports-science: not the more respected category of boffinry, which includes such disciplines as physics, engineering etc.

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