If you’ve ever made a girl cry by answering the question, “Do these pants make my ass look big?” the wrong way, know this: Women are happier with their bodies if they believe men in general find rounder figures sexy.

In three SMU studies, females viewed photos of “larger-bodied” women (sizes 8 to 10; though the fact that these were considered “large” is discouraging in itself) as well as pics of ultrathin women (sizes 2 to 4) in street clothes or bathing suits, all labeled attractive or unattractive to men. Afterward, subjects answered questions about their own weight. In every case, those who saw rounder ladies labeled “attractive to men” were happier with their bodies.

What’s it to you? “Women who felt better about their bodies also had sex with their partners more frequently,” says study head Andrea Meltzer, Ph.D., “probably because they felt confident and comfortable enough for intimate behavior.” And more sex = happier relationships, she says. So the next time she asks you the question, answer: “Who cares—now take them off and come with me.”

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