UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Sexual Receptivity Signal of Lordosis Posture and Intra-Sexual Competition in Women Pazhoohi, Farid; Garza, Ray; Kingstone, Alan


Previous research has shown that women may use self-enhancement strategies to compete with one other. Lumbar curvature in women is considered to enhance a woman′s attractiveness, potentially due to its role in bipedal fetal load and sexual receptiveness. The current study investigated the role of lumbar curvature on women’s perceptions of sexual receptiveness as well as its role in women’s intrasexual competitiveness. Study 1 (N = 138) tested and confirmed that women’s intrasexual competition influences their perception of sexual receptivity of women as a function of lordosis posture depicted in a standing posture. Study 2 (N = 69) replicated these results and extended them to other postures, namely, the quadruped and supine positions. Study 3 (N = 106), using a two-alternative forced-choice task, revealed that other women perceive relatively larger arched-back postures as more threatening to their relationship and frequently as being more attractive. Collectively, this work suggests that women consider a lordotic posture in other women as a signal of sexual receptivity and perceive it as a threat to their relationship. This research provides robust support for the sexually receptivity hypothesis of lumbar curvature, questioning the alternative morphological vertebral wedging hypothesis.

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