The marked change in a woman's hormonal profile that happens at menopause affects many aspects of behaviour. We investigated circum-menopausal women's preferences for femininity in the faces of young adult men and women. Post-menopausal women demonstrated stronger preferences for femininity in same-sex faces than pre-menopausal women did. This effect was independent of possible effects of participant's age and suggests that dislike of feminine (i.e. attractive) same-sex competitors decreases as fertility decreases. No significant difference between pre- and post-menopausal women was observed for men's faces, potentially because circum-menopausal women do not necessarily view young adult men as potential mates. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate circum-menopausal changes in women's face preferences.
- sexual dimorphism
- facial attractiveness
- menstruaol cycle
Vukovic, J., Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., Little, A. C., Feinberg, D. R., & Welling, L. L. M. (2009). Circum-menopausal effects on women's judgements of facial attractiveness. Biology Letters, 5(1), 62-64. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0478