Most black men do not just prefer a big ass, but lighter-skinned women in general, a study has suggested.
Scientists looking into attractiveness in men and woman suggest that men from all races find fairer-skinned woman most alluring, while women are the polar opposite and favour darker, brooding men.
They said the attraction is driven by preferences based on moral assumptions.
Men are subconsciously attracted to fairer-skinned icons such as Pearl Thusi or Dineo because of the skin tone’s association with innocence, purity, modesty, virginity, vulnerability and goodness.
Women, on the other hand, pick men with darker complexions – such as film stars Adris Alba or Jamie Foxx – because these are associated with sex, virility, mystery, villainy and danger.
They studied more than 2,000 advertising photographs – chosen on the basis the models featured were considered among the most attractive people of the races and sexes – and found that the skin of white women was 15.2 per cent lighter than the skin of white males, and the skin of black women 11.1 per cent lighter than the skin of black men.
Dr Shyon Baumann, a sociologist involved in the study, said: “What the research shows is that our aesthetic preferences operate to reflect moral preferences.
“Within our cultures we have a set of ideals about how women should look and behave.
“Lightness and darkness have particular meanings attached to them and we subconsciously relate those moral preferences to women.”
Dr Baumann said this appreciation of a darker complexion in women is “less common” but “appears to coexist with a view of such women as more overtly sexual.
“In other words, darker women are seen as more promiscuous.”
When the researchers analysed adverts featuring white women only, they found that women with the darkest complexions were more likely to be in an advanced state of undress.
They were also more likely to have a bared midriff or provocatively dressed, and only they were shown with bared feet or are implied to be totally nude.
Women with the lightest complexion were more likely to be conservatively dressed and portrayed as friendly, happy and honest.
Dr Baumann said the scale of the differences between male and female skin colour selected for their attractiveness is too big to be explained by pure biology and were the product of “deeply rooted and enduring cultural values”.
He said: “Physical lightness and darkness are aesthetic characteristics that … exemplify the link between aesthetic and moral judgements.
“On average, fair complexions in women are the dominant aesthetic ideal because sexual modesty and conventional femininity are the dominant behavioural ideal for women.”