Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans

Anthony C. Little, Kimberley J. Hockings, Coren L. Apicella, Claudia Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies show agreement within and between populations and cultures for general judgments of facial attractiveness. Studies that have examined the attractiveness of specific traits have also highlighted cross-cultural differences for factors such as symmetry, averageness, and masculinity. One trait that should be preferred across cultures is heterozygosity. Indeed, several studies suggest that mixed ethnicity, in terms of appearing to possess a mixture of traits from different human population groups, may be found attractive, which could reflect preferences for heterozygosity. We examined preferences for manipulated face shape associated with different populations in both Europeans (Britain) and Africans (Guinea-Bissau). We found that mixed-ethnicity face shapes were more attractive than enhanced single-ethnicity face shape across both populations. These results are consistent with evolutionary theories suggesting individuals should prefer heterozygosity in partners because facial cues to mixed-ethnicity are likely to indicate diverse genes compared to cues that indicate a face belongs to a single particular culture or population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1486-1496
Number of pages11
JournalPerception
Volume41
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Genes
Population
Cues
Guinea-Bissau
Masculinity

Keywords

  • Agreement
  • Culture
  • Facial attractiveness
  • Mixed
  • Population
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Little, A. C., Hockings, K. J., Apicella, C. L., & Sousa, C. (2012). Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans. Perception, 41(12), 1486-1496. https://doi.org/10.1068/p7278

Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans. / Little, Anthony C.; Hockings, Kimberley J.; Apicella, Coren L.; Sousa, Claudia.

In: Perception, Vol. 41, No. 12, 2012, p. 1486-1496.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Little, AC, Hockings, KJ, Apicella, CL & Sousa, C 2012, 'Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans', Perception, vol. 41, no. 12, pp. 1486-1496. https://doi.org/10.1068/p7278
Little, Anthony C. ; Hockings, Kimberley J. ; Apicella, Coren L. ; Sousa, Claudia. / Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans. In: Perception. 2012 ; Vol. 41, No. 12. pp. 1486-1496.
@article{d7e247ac4d324a71bbe192bed81bb532,
title = "Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans",
abstract = "Many studies show agreement within and between populations and cultures for general judgments of facial attractiveness. Studies that have examined the attractiveness of specific traits have also highlighted cross-cultural differences for factors such as symmetry, averageness, and masculinity. One trait that should be preferred across cultures is heterozygosity. Indeed, several studies suggest that mixed ethnicity, in terms of appearing to possess a mixture of traits from different human population groups, may be found attractive, which could reflect preferences for heterozygosity. We examined preferences for manipulated face shape associated with different populations in both Europeans (Britain) and Africans (Guinea-Bissau). We found that mixed-ethnicity face shapes were more attractive than enhanced single-ethnicity face shape across both populations. These results are consistent with evolutionary theories suggesting individuals should prefer heterozygosity in partners because facial cues to mixed-ethnicity are likely to indicate diverse genes compared to cues that indicate a face belongs to a single particular culture or population.",
keywords = "Agreement, Culture, Facial attractiveness, Mixed, Population, Variation",
author = "Little, {Anthony C.} and Hockings, {Kimberley J.} and Apicella, {Coren L.} and Claudia Sousa",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1068/p7278",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "1486--1496",
journal = "Perception",
issn = "0301-0066",
publisher = "Pion Ltd.",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mixed-ethnicity face shape and attractiveness in humans

AU - Little, Anthony C.

AU - Hockings, Kimberley J.

AU - Apicella, Coren L.

AU - Sousa, Claudia

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Many studies show agreement within and between populations and cultures for general judgments of facial attractiveness. Studies that have examined the attractiveness of specific traits have also highlighted cross-cultural differences for factors such as symmetry, averageness, and masculinity. One trait that should be preferred across cultures is heterozygosity. Indeed, several studies suggest that mixed ethnicity, in terms of appearing to possess a mixture of traits from different human population groups, may be found attractive, which could reflect preferences for heterozygosity. We examined preferences for manipulated face shape associated with different populations in both Europeans (Britain) and Africans (Guinea-Bissau). We found that mixed-ethnicity face shapes were more attractive than enhanced single-ethnicity face shape across both populations. These results are consistent with evolutionary theories suggesting individuals should prefer heterozygosity in partners because facial cues to mixed-ethnicity are likely to indicate diverse genes compared to cues that indicate a face belongs to a single particular culture or population.

AB - Many studies show agreement within and between populations and cultures for general judgments of facial attractiveness. Studies that have examined the attractiveness of specific traits have also highlighted cross-cultural differences for factors such as symmetry, averageness, and masculinity. One trait that should be preferred across cultures is heterozygosity. Indeed, several studies suggest that mixed ethnicity, in terms of appearing to possess a mixture of traits from different human population groups, may be found attractive, which could reflect preferences for heterozygosity. We examined preferences for manipulated face shape associated with different populations in both Europeans (Britain) and Africans (Guinea-Bissau). We found that mixed-ethnicity face shapes were more attractive than enhanced single-ethnicity face shape across both populations. These results are consistent with evolutionary theories suggesting individuals should prefer heterozygosity in partners because facial cues to mixed-ethnicity are likely to indicate diverse genes compared to cues that indicate a face belongs to a single particular culture or population.

KW - Agreement

KW - Culture

KW - Facial attractiveness

KW - Mixed

KW - Population

KW - Variation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84874202480&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - https://doi.org/10.1068/p7278

U2 - 10.1068/p7278

DO - 10.1068/p7278

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 1486

EP - 1496

JO - Perception

JF - Perception

SN - 0301-0066

IS - 12

ER -