Women's Dress Fashions as a Function of Reproductive Strategy

Women's Dress Fashions as a Function of Reproductive Strategy Despite many speculations, there is no well-supported explanation for cycles of fashion in.women's dress and scholars cannot agree whether fashions reflect societal changes. Generalizing from cycles of bodily attractiveness for women, it was hypothesized that dress styles are reflective of reproductive economics. Using data from three studies of dress fashion extending from 1885-1976, the prediction was tested thatshortskirts (signaling sexual accessibility) would be correlated with low sex ratios (indicating limited marital opportunity for women), with increased economic opportunities for women and with marital instability. Predictions for narrowwaists and low necklines (which signal reproductive value) were opposite. These predictions received strong support indicating that dress styles, like standards of bodily attractiveness may be partly determined by marital economics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Women's Dress Fashions as a Function of Reproductive Strategy

Sex Roles , Volume 40 (6) – Sep 30, 2004
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1018823727012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite many speculations, there is no well-supported explanation for cycles of fashion in.women's dress and scholars cannot agree whether fashions reflect societal changes. Generalizing from cycles of bodily attractiveness for women, it was hypothesized that dress styles are reflective of reproductive economics. Using data from three studies of dress fashion extending from 1885-1976, the prediction was tested thatshortskirts (signaling sexual accessibility) would be correlated with low sex ratios (indicating limited marital opportunity for women), with increased economic opportunities for women and with marital instability. Predictions for narrowwaists and low necklines (which signal reproductive value) were opposite. These predictions received strong support indicating that dress styles, like standards of bodily attractiveness may be partly determined by marital economics.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 30, 2004

References

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