Female Condition Influences Preferences for Sexual Dimorphism in Faces of Male Humans (Homo sapiens)

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

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208 Citations (SciVal)


In some species, female condition correlates positively with preferences for male secondary sexual traits. Women's preferences for sexually dimorphic characteristics in male faces (facial masculinity) have recently been reported to covary with self-reported attractiveness. As women's attractiveness has been proposed to signal reproductive condition, the findings in human (Homo sapiens) and other species may reflect similar processes. The current study investigated whether the covariation between condition and preferences for masculinity would generalize to 2 further measures of female attractiveness: other-rated facial attractiveness and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Women with high (unattractive) WHR and/or relatively low other-rated facial attractiveness preferred more "feminine" male faces when choosing faces for a long-term relationship than when choosing for a short-term relationship, possibly reflecting diverse tactics in female mate choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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