Women's preferences for masculinity in male faces are predicted by pathogen disgust, but not moral or sexual disgust

Lisa DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones, Joshua M. Tybur, Debra Lieberman, Vladas Griskevicius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Because women's preferences for male masculinity reflect tradeoffs between indirect benefits of greater genetic health and direct costs of lower paternal investment, variables that affect the importance of these costs and benefits also affect masculinity preferences. Concern about disease and pathogens may be one such variable. Here we show that disgust sensitivity in the pathogen domain is positively correlated with facial masculinity preferences, but disgust sensitivity in the moral and sexual domains are not. Our findings present novel evidence that systematic variation in women's preferences for masculine men reflects factors that influence how women resolve the tradeoff between the indirect benefits and the direct costs associated with choosing a masculine partner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • masculinity
  • disgust
  • pathogens
  • individual differences

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