Partnership status and the temporal context of relationships influence human female preferences for sexual dimorphism in male face shape

A. C. Little, Benedict Christopher Jones, I. S. Penton-Voak, D. M. Burt, D. I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

262 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Secondary sexual characteristics may indicate quality of the immune system and therefore a preference for masculinity may confer genetic benefits to offspring; however, high masculinity may be associated with costs of decreased paternal investment. The current study examined women's preferences for masculinity in male faces by using computer graphics to allow transformation between feminine and masculine versions of individual male faces. We found that preferences for masculinity are increased when women either have a partner or are considering a short-term relationship. Such preferences are potentially adaptive, serving to: (i) maximize parental investment and cooperation in long-term relationships by biasing choices towards feminine faced males, and (ii) maximize possible good-gene benefits of short-term or extra-pair partners by biasing choices towards masculine faced males. We also found that individuals using oral contraception do not show the above effects, indicating that such hormonal intervention potentially disrupts women's choices for evolutionarily relevant benefits from males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1103
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences
Volume269
Issue number1496
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • facial attractiveness
  • female preference
  • good-gene markers
  • partnership
  • context
  • FACIAL ATTRACTIVENESS
  • FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY
  • MENSTRUAL-CYCLE
  • TRADE-OFFS
  • SYMMETRY
  • PERCEPTION
  • PARASITES
  • WOMEN

Cite this

Partnership status and the temporal context of relationships influence human female preferences for sexual dimorphism in male face shape. / Little, A. C.; Jones, Benedict Christopher; Penton-Voak, I. S.; Burt, D. M.; Perrett, D. I.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 269, No. 1496, 2002, p. 1095-1103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Little, A. C. ; Jones, Benedict Christopher ; Penton-Voak, I. S. ; Burt, D. M. ; Perrett, D. I. / Partnership status and the temporal context of relationships influence human female preferences for sexual dimorphism in male face shape. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences. 2002 ; Vol. 269, No. 1496. pp. 1095-1103.
@article{1f72f1f888104e5babfadecb9609aae8,
title = "Partnership status and the temporal context of relationships influence human female preferences for sexual dimorphism in male face shape",
abstract = "Secondary sexual characteristics may indicate quality of the immune system and therefore a preference for masculinity may confer genetic benefits to offspring; however, high masculinity may be associated with costs of decreased paternal investment. The current study examined women's preferences for masculinity in male faces by using computer graphics to allow transformation between feminine and masculine versions of individual male faces. We found that preferences for masculinity are increased when women either have a partner or are considering a short-term relationship. Such preferences are potentially adaptive, serving to: (i) maximize parental investment and cooperation in long-term relationships by biasing choices towards feminine faced males, and (ii) maximize possible good-gene benefits of short-term or extra-pair partners by biasing choices towards masculine faced males. We also found that individuals using oral contraception do not show the above effects, indicating that such hormonal intervention potentially disrupts women's choices for evolutionarily relevant benefits from males.",
keywords = "facial attractiveness, female preference, good-gene markers, partnership, context, FACIAL ATTRACTIVENESS, FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY, MENSTRUAL-CYCLE, TRADE-OFFS, SYMMETRY, PERCEPTION, PARASITES, WOMEN",
author = "Little, {A. C.} and Jones, {Benedict Christopher} and Penton-Voak, {I. S.} and Burt, {D. M.} and Perrett, {D. I.}",
year = "2002",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2002.1984",
language = "English",
volume = "269",
pages = "1095--1103",
journal = "Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY",
number = "1496",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Partnership status and the temporal context of relationships influence human female preferences for sexual dimorphism in male face shape

AU - Little, A. C.

AU - Jones, Benedict Christopher

AU - Penton-Voak, I. S.

AU - Burt, D. M.

AU - Perrett, D. I.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - Secondary sexual characteristics may indicate quality of the immune system and therefore a preference for masculinity may confer genetic benefits to offspring; however, high masculinity may be associated with costs of decreased paternal investment. The current study examined women's preferences for masculinity in male faces by using computer graphics to allow transformation between feminine and masculine versions of individual male faces. We found that preferences for masculinity are increased when women either have a partner or are considering a short-term relationship. Such preferences are potentially adaptive, serving to: (i) maximize parental investment and cooperation in long-term relationships by biasing choices towards feminine faced males, and (ii) maximize possible good-gene benefits of short-term or extra-pair partners by biasing choices towards masculine faced males. We also found that individuals using oral contraception do not show the above effects, indicating that such hormonal intervention potentially disrupts women's choices for evolutionarily relevant benefits from males.

AB - Secondary sexual characteristics may indicate quality of the immune system and therefore a preference for masculinity may confer genetic benefits to offspring; however, high masculinity may be associated with costs of decreased paternal investment. The current study examined women's preferences for masculinity in male faces by using computer graphics to allow transformation between feminine and masculine versions of individual male faces. We found that preferences for masculinity are increased when women either have a partner or are considering a short-term relationship. Such preferences are potentially adaptive, serving to: (i) maximize parental investment and cooperation in long-term relationships by biasing choices towards feminine faced males, and (ii) maximize possible good-gene benefits of short-term or extra-pair partners by biasing choices towards masculine faced males. We also found that individuals using oral contraception do not show the above effects, indicating that such hormonal intervention potentially disrupts women's choices for evolutionarily relevant benefits from males.

KW - facial attractiveness

KW - female preference

KW - good-gene markers

KW - partnership

KW - context

KW - FACIAL ATTRACTIVENESS

KW - FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY

KW - MENSTRUAL-CYCLE

KW - TRADE-OFFS

KW - SYMMETRY

KW - PERCEPTION

KW - PARASITES

KW - WOMEN

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2002.1984

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2002.1984

M3 - Article

VL - 269

SP - 1095

EP - 1103

JO - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences

JF - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1496

ER -