Effects of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Face Preferences

  title={Effects of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Face Preferences},
  author={Benedict C. Jones and Lisa Marie DeBruine and David Ian Perrett and Anthony C. Little and David R. Feinberg and Miriam J Law Smith},
  journal={Archives of Sexual Behavior},
While many studies of face preferences have emphasized high agreement among individuals about the types of faces they consider attractive and unattractive, other studies have demonstrated systematic variation in face preferences. Here, we review the evidence that women’s preferences for masculinity, apparent health, and self-resemblance in faces change systematically during the menstrual cycle. Our review focuses on the proximate mechanisms that might underpin these changes (i.e., what changes… 

Evidence for Menstrual Cycle Shifts in Women's Preferences for Masculinity: A Response to Harris (in Press) “Menstrual Cycle and Facial Preferences Reconsidered”

The evidence for cyclic shifts in mate preferences and related behaviors is compelling, despite the failure of replication reported by Harris, and the weaknesses of Harris's methods are discussed.

Changes in preference for male faces during the menstrual cycle in a Spanish population

It is found that women using hormonal contraceptives tend to prefer men with less masculine faces, and some of the evidences supporting the oestrus hypothesis in humans must be reviewed, incorporating data from different socio-cultural and ethnic populations.

Social support influences preferences for feminine facial cues in potential social partners.

It is found that women and men randomly allocated to low social support priming conditions demonstrated stronger preferences for feminine shape cues in own- and opposite-sex faces and that people perceived men and women displaying feminine characteristics as more likely to provide them with high-quality social support than those displaying relatively masculine characteristics.

Women’s Probability of Conception Is Associated with their Preference for Flirtatious but not Masculine Facial Movement

It is demonstrated that social properties of facial motion influence attractiveness judgments in the absence of other cues, and that women’s preferences for these displays vary over the menstrual cycle, as has been demonstrated for structural traits of men's faces in static stimuli.

Mate Preferences Across the Lifespan

  • L. BoothroydJ. Vukovic
  • Psychology
    The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Endocrinology
  • 2019
Humans show preferential responses to “attractive” individuals from the first hours of life onward. However, these early preferences are subject to later development in terms of increasing agreement

Do women's mate preferences change across the ovulatory cycle? A meta-analytic review.

A meta-analysis quantitatively evaluated support for the pattern of cycle shifts predicted by the ovulatory shift hypothesis in a total sample of 134 effects from 38 published and 12 unpublished studies to reveal robust cycle shifts that were specific to women's preferences for hypothesized cues of (ancestral) genetic quality.

The spandrels of Santa Barbara? A new perspective on the peri-ovulation paradigm

It is argued that cyclic changes need not result from incomplete concealment of ovulatory status and that ovarian hormone levels underpin between-individual differences in both women’s attractiveness and their mate preferences, which influence the sexes’ mate-choice decisions.



Women's attractiveness judgments of self-resembling faces change across the menstrual cycle

Menstrual cycle, pregnancy and oral contraceptive use alter attraction to apparent health in faces

Findings indicate raised progesterone level is associated with increased attraction to facial cues associated with possible direct benefits and suggest that women's face preferences are influenced by adaptations that compensate for weakened immune system responses during pregnancy and reduce the risk of infection disrupting foetal development.

Women's Preferences for Male Behavioral Displays Change Across the Menstrual Cycle

Women's preference for men who displayed social presence and direct intrasexual competitiveness increased on high-fertility days relative to low-f fertility days, but only in a short-term, not a long-term mating context, adding to the growing literature indicating that women's mate preferences systematically vary across the reproductive cycle.

Raised salivary testosterone in women is associated with increased attraction to masculine faces

Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness

The results of asking subjects to choose the most attractive faces from continua that enhanced or diminished differences between the average shape of female and male faces indicate a selection pressure that limits sexual dimorphism and encourages neoteny in humans.

Evolutionary Psychology of Facial Attractiveness

The human face communicates an impressive number of visual signals. Although adults' ratings of facial attractiveness are consistent across studies, even cross-culturally, there has been considerable

Cyclic variation in women’s preferences for masculine traits

Relationships between levels of estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and testosterone and women’s preferences for male vocal masculinity in normally cycling and hormonally contracepting heterosexual females are explored.