Female preference for male faces changes cyclically: Further evidence

  title={Female preference for male faces changes cyclically: Further evidence},
  author={Ian S. Penton-Voak and David Ian Perrett},
  journal={Evolution and Human Behavior},
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… Expand

Figures from this paper

Male facial attractiveness: Perceived personality and shifting female preferences for male traits across the menstrual cycle
Summary On the evidence of experimental studies, female preferences for even static images of male faces represent a complex set of decision-making processes, and the differing techniques employed byExpand
Female condition influences preferences for sexual dimorphism in faces of male humans (Homo sapiens).
Investigating 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) found women with high (unattractive) WHR and/or relatively low other-rating facial attractiveness preferred more "feminine" male faces when choosing faces for a long-term relationship. Expand
Male facial attractiveness: evidence for hormone-mediated adaptive design
Abstract Experimenters examining male facial attractiveness have concluded that the attractive male face is (1) an average male face, (2) a masculinized male face, or (3) a feminized male face.Expand
The influence of women's mating strategies on preference for masculine facial architecture
Abstract The male sex hormone testosterone is an immunosuppressant. This has led evolutionary theorists to speculate that masculine facial structure in humans is a Zahavian handicap trait: an honestExpand
Preferences for variation in masculinity in real male faces change across the menstrual cycle: women prefer more masculine faces when they are more fertile
In women cyclical shifts in preference have been documented for odour and certain physical and behavioral male traits. For example, women prefer more masculinised male faces when at peak fertilityExpand
Life History of Female Preferences for Male Faces
It is argued that the life history of female preferences for male faces is, to a large extent, hormone-driven and underpinned by a set of evolutionary adaptations. Expand
Are human female preferences for symmetrical male faces enhanced when conception is likely?
Human females show a preference for the scent of symmetrical male bodies and appearance of masculine male faces only when conception is likely. These traits are thought to be signs of male quality.Expand
Preferences across the Menstrual Cycle for Masculinity and Symmetry in Photographs of Male Faces and Bodies
The results suggest that a menstrual cycle shift in visual preferences for masculinity and symmetry may be too subtle to influence responses to real faces and bodies, and subsequent mate-choice decisions. Expand
Effects of Male Facial Masculinity on Perceived Attractiveness
The results show that women’s sociosexual orientation has a positive correlation with masculinity preference while using hormonal contraception decreases this preference, and the notion that condition-dependent variables have very small effects, if any, on women's preference for masculinity in men is supported. Expand
Variation in facial masculinity and symmetry preferences across the menstrual cycle is moderated by relationship context
It is shown that women prefer masculinity and symmetry in male faces at times when their fertility is likely to be highest (during the follicular phase of their cycle) when judging the faces for short-term relationship attractiveness. Expand


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. Expand
Menstrual cycle alters face preference
It is shown that female preference for secondary sexual traits in male face shapes varies with the probability of conception across the menstrual cycle, similar to that of men with low fluctuating asymmetry. Expand
Preference for Darker Faces in Photographs at Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle: Preliminary Assessment of Evidence for a Hormonal Relationship
  • P. Frost
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Perceptual and motor skills
  • 1994
A mental mechanism whose inputs are hormonal state, visual identification of the sex of the face being observed, and visual recognition of complexion, and whose output enters into evaluation of male and female faces is suggested. Expand
Facial shape and judgements of female attractiveness
The finding that highly attractive facial configurations are not average shows that preferences could exert a directional selection pressure on the evolution of human face shape. Expand
Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness.
This is the first study to show that facial symmetry has a positive influence on facial attractiveness ratings, with the exception of the hypothesized effects of averageness of female and male faces on attractiveness ratings. Expand
What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness.
Three quasi-experiments demonstrated that men who possessed the neotenous features of large eyes, the mature features of prominent cheekbones and a large chin, the expressive feature of a big smile, and high-status clothing were seen as more attractive than other men. Expand
The scent of symmetry: A human sex pheromone that signals fitness?
Abstract A previous study by the authors showed that the body scent of men who have greater body bilateral symmetry is rated as more attractive by normally ovulating (non-pill-using) women during theExpand
Facial attractiveness, symmetry and cues of good genes
Using photographs of men's faces, a relationship between women's attractiveness ratings of these faces and symmetry is found, but the subjects could not rate facial symmetry accurately, suggesting that attractive features other than symmetry can be used to assess phenotypic condition. Expand
Human body odour, symmetry and attractiveness
  • A. Rikowski, K. Grammer
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1999
A significant positive correlation between facial attractiveness and sexiness of body odour for female subjects and negative relations between smell and body asymmetry for males only if female odour raters were in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle are found. Expand
Were the Physiognomists Right?
Research has revealed that feature babyishness exerts a powerful impact on perceptions of faces. Whereas previous work has focused on the perceptual consequences of such variations in facialExpand