Human preference for masculinity differs according to context in faces, bodies, voices, and smell

Human preference for masculinity differs according to context in faces, bodies, voices, and smell Sexual dimorphism is important in mate choice in many species and can be appraised via multiple traits in any one individual. Thus, one question that arises is whether sexual dimorphism in different traits influences preferences consistently. Here, we examined human preferences for masculinity/femininity in different types of stimuli. For face and body stimuli, images were manipulated to be more or less masculine using computer graphic techniques. Voice stimuli were made more or less masculine by manipulating pitch. For smell, we used variation among male aftershaves as a proxy for manipulating masculinity of real male smell and used relatively masculine/feminine odors. For women, we found that preferences for more masculine stimuli were greater for short-term than for long-term relationships across all stimuli types. Further analyses revealed consistency in preferences for masculinity across stimuli types, at least for short-term judgments, whereby women with preferences for masculinity in one domain also had preferences for masculinity in the other domains. For men, we found that preferences for more feminine stimuli were greater for short-term than for long-term judgments across face and voice stimuli, whereas the reverse was true for body stimuli. Further analyses revealed consistency in preferences for masculinity across stimuli types for long-term judgments, whereby men with preferences for femininity in one domain also had preferences for femininity in the other domains. These data suggest that masculinity/femininity as a trait may be assessed via different modalities and that masculinity/femininity in the different modalities might be representing a single underlying quality in individuals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behavioral Ecology Oxford University Press

Human preference for masculinity differs according to context in faces, bodies, voices, and smell

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
1045-2249
eISSN
1465-7279
DOI
10.1093/beheco/arr061
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism is important in mate choice in many species and can be appraised via multiple traits in any one individual. Thus, one question that arises is whether sexual dimorphism in different traits influences preferences consistently. Here, we examined human preferences for masculinity/femininity in different types of stimuli. For face and body stimuli, images were manipulated to be more or less masculine using computer graphic techniques. Voice stimuli were made more or less masculine by manipulating pitch. For smell, we used variation among male aftershaves as a proxy for manipulating masculinity of real male smell and used relatively masculine/feminine odors. For women, we found that preferences for more masculine stimuli were greater for short-term than for long-term relationships across all stimuli types. Further analyses revealed consistency in preferences for masculinity across stimuli types, at least for short-term judgments, whereby women with preferences for masculinity in one domain also had preferences for masculinity in the other domains. For men, we found that preferences for more feminine stimuli were greater for short-term than for long-term judgments across face and voice stimuli, whereas the reverse was true for body stimuli. Further analyses revealed consistency in preferences for masculinity across stimuli types for long-term judgments, whereby men with preferences for femininity in one domain also had preferences for femininity in the other domains. These data suggest that masculinity/femininity as a trait may be assessed via different modalities and that masculinity/femininity in the different modalities might be representing a single underlying quality in individuals.

Journal

Behavioral EcologyOxford University Press

Published: May 30, 2011

Keywords: attractiveness cross-modal mate-choice relationship context sexual dimorphism

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