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Plastic Surgeons Ask: What’s the Ideal Male Buttock?
Findings will help to guide approaches to gluteal enhancement in men, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®

At a time when more men are considering body contouring and gluteal enhancement, an Internet survey provides new information on the "ideal" appearance of the male buttock, reports the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

"Our results demonstrate that there is a preferred male gluteal aesthetic," comments ASPS Member Surgeon Ashit Patel, MB, ChB, of Duke University, Durham, N.C., lead author of the new study. "The findings suggest that a moderately enhanced, well-proportioned appearance is most desirable."

Crowd-sourced study aims to define 'the aesthetic of the ideal male buttocks'

Buttock enhancement refers to cosmetic procedures performed by plastic surgeons to improve the appearance of the buttocks, including gluteal augmentation (using fat grafting and/or implants) and buttock lifting procedures. These procedures are most often performed in women; previous studies have used survey methods in an attempt to define the "ideal" female buttock.

Men are increasingly interested in cosmetic surgical procedures, including gluteal enhancement. "But while previous studies have evaluated the features of attractive female buttocks, no one has really studied the aesthetic of the ideal male buttocks," according to Dr. Patel. The researchers performed a survey study to assess perceptions of the most attractive features of the buttocks in men.

The online survey was performed using Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform. Participants were presented with images of a man's buttocks from three views: from the side, from behind and from a three-quarters view. In each view, the images were digitally altered to change the proportions of different areas of the buttocks.

For each view, survey participants ranked the images from most to least attractive. They also provided information on demographic characteristics, sexual orientation and geographic location. The analysis included ratings from 2,095 self-selected members of the general public. About 60% of respondents were men; about one-half were 25 to 34 years of age.

Ratings provide insights into the most attractive proportions

The responses provided information on the most attractive proportions for each of the three views. "In our survey, raters thought the ideal male buttocks shouldn't be flat, but also shouldn't stick out too far," says Dr. Patel. "The buttocks shouldn't be too wide, and should retain the characteristic dimple on the sides." The article includes illustrations showing the differing views, including the proportions rated most attractive.

These features contrast with previous studies of the "ideal" female buttocks, in which a rounder and fuller appearance was preferred. The authors note that the differences are an important consideration in gender-affirming surgery in transgender patients.

Ratings showed some variation by respondent characteristics, including race, region of residence and sexual orientation. The preferred proportions were similar for male and female raters.

"Our study is one of the first to really focus on what makes the male buttocks most attractive," Dr. Patel adds. "We believe the findings will be helpful in discussions with patients considering gluteal enhancement, and provide guidance in achieving optimal results and patient satisfaction."

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Click here to read "Defining the Ideal Male Buttocks"

Article: "Defining the Ideal Male Buttocks" (doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010378)

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For over 75 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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