Facial masculinity may be used as a cue in female mate choice, as it reflects the success of the male genotype in its developmental environment. Women may maximize reproductive success by using a conditional strategy favoring highly masculine facial features for short‐term relationships and feminized facial features in men for long‐term relationships. Three studies examine reactions to masculinized and feminized male facial composites. Properties of the original composite image affect ratings of critical attributes and the magnitude of the differences in ratings between versions undergoing identical processes of geometric manipulation (Study 1). Both men and women attribute personality, behavior, and mating strategies consistent with predictions derived from the good genes and mating trade‐off hypotheses (Study 2). Participants accurately grouped behavioral tendencies related to high mating effort/risky strategies and high parenting effort/risk adverse strategies and associated mating effort more so with masculinized faces and parenting effort more so with feminized faces (Study 3). These results indicate that male facial masculinity serves as a visual cue for inferring personality and reproductive strategy.
Personal Relationships – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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