Variation in Women's Preferences Regarding Male Facial Masculinity Is Better Explained by Genetic Differences Than by Previously Identified Context-Dependent Effects

Zietsch, Brendan P., Lee, Anthony J., Sherlock, James M. and Jern, Patrick (2015) Variation in Women's Preferences Regarding Male Facial Masculinity Is Better Explained by Genetic Differences Than by Previously Identified Context-Dependent Effects. Psychological Science, 26 9: 1440-1448. doi:10.1177/0956797615591770


Author Zietsch, Brendan P.
Lee, Anthony J.
Sherlock, James M.
Jern, Patrick
Title Variation in Women's Preferences Regarding Male Facial Masculinity Is Better Explained by Genetic Differences Than by Previously Identified Context-Dependent Effects
Journal name Psychological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0956-7976
1467-9280
Publication date 2015-09
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0956797615591770
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 26
Issue 9
Start page 1440
End page 1448
Total pages 9
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Women’s preferences for masculine versus feminine male faces are highly variable. According to a dominant theory in evolutionary psychology, this variability results from adaptations that optimize preferences by calibrating them to certain contextual factors, including women’s self-perceived attractiveness, short- versus long-term relationship orientation, pathogen disgust sensitivity, and stage of the menstrual cycle. The theory does not account for the possible contribution of genetic variation on women’s facial masculinity preference. Using a large sample (N = 2,160) of identical and nonidentical female Finnish twins and their siblings, we showed that the proportion of variation in women’s preferences regarding male facial masculinity that was attributable to genetic variation (38%) dwarfed the variation due to the combined effect of contextual factors (< 1%). These findings cast doubt on the importance of these context-dependent effects and may suggest a need for refocusing in the field toward understanding the wide genetic variation in these preferences and how this variation relates to the evolution of sexual dimorphism in faces.
Keyword Evolutionary psychology
Behavior genetics
Human Female Preferences
Mate Preferences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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