Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Female preference for male faces changes cyclically: Further evidence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

I S Penton-Voak, D I Perrett

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Research has failed to reach consensus on the characteristics of attractive male faces. Different studies have reported preferences for phenotypically average faces, and faces with both exaggerated and reduced sexual dimorphism. Recent studies demonstrate cyclic changes in female sexual behavior and preferences for odors and facial characteristics that may reflect conditional mating strategies. We employed computer graphic techniques to manipulate the "masculinity" or "femininity" of a composite male face by exaggerating or reducing the shape differences between female and male average faces. Five stimuli with varying levels of masculinity and femininity were presented in a national U.K. magazine, with a questionnaire. Female respondents in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (n = 55) were significantly more likely to choose a masculine face than those in-menses and luteal phases (n = 84). This study provides further evidence that when conception is most likely, females prefer testosterone-related facial characteristics that may honestly advertise immunocompetence. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000

    Research areas

  • male facial attractiveness, menstrual cycle, sexual selection, SEXUAL SELECTION, FACIAL ATTRACTIVENESS, FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY, MENSTRUAL-CYCLE, HOMO-SAPIENS, DOMINANCE, PERCEPTION, SYMMETRY, SHAPE, MEN

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Misperceptions of opposite-sex preferences for thinness and muscularity

    Perrett, D. I. & Lei, X., Feb 2021, In: British Journal of Psychology. 112, 1, p. 247-264 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Charlie Gross: an inspiration

    Perrett, D., Dec 2020, In: Progress in Neurobiology. 195, 101928.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  3. The attractive side of trustworthiness: effects of relationship context and social interaction anxiety on face preferences

    Carrito, M. L., Santos, I. M., Bem-Haja, P., Lopes, A. A., Silva, C. F. & Perrett, D. I., 1 Jul 2020, In: Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. 14, 3, p. 261-269 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Reactions to an online demonstration of the effect of increased fruit and vegetable consumption on appearance: survey

    Cairns, P., Ozakinci, G. & Perrett, D. I., Jul 2020, In: Journal of Medical Internet Research. 22, 7, 9 p., e15726.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Skin color cues to human health: carotenoids, aerobic fitness, and body fat

    Perrett, D. I., Talamas, S., Cairns, P. & Henderson, A. J., 11 Mar 2020, In: Frontiers in Psychology. 11, 14 p., 392.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Immune function during early adolescence positively predicts adult facial sexual dimorphism in both men and women

    Foo, Y. Z., Simmons, L. W., Perrett, D. I., Holt, P., Eastwood, P. R. & Rhodes, G., 17 Feb 2020, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task

    Vale, G. L., McGuigan, N., Burdett, E., Lambeth, S. P., Lucas, A., Rawlings, B., Schapiro, S. J., Watson, S. K. & Whiten, A., 16 Dec 2020, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Chimpanzees and children avoid mutual defection in a social dilemma

    Sánchez-Amaro, A., Duguid, S., Call, J. & Tomasello, M., Jan 2019, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 40, 1, p. 46-54

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Acquisition of a socially learned tool use sequence in chimpanzees: implications for cumulative culture

    Vale, G. L., Davis, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J. & Whiten, A., Sep 2017, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 5, p. 635-644 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Aggressor or protector? Experiences and perceptions of violence predict preferences for masculinity

    Borras Guevara, M. L., Batres, C. & Perrett, D. I., Jul 2017, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 4, p. 481-489 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 817236

Top