Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16721
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Oral contraceptive use in women changes preferences for male facial masculinity and is associated with partner facial masculinity
Authors: Little, Anthony
Burriss, Robert
Petrie, Marion
Jones, Benedict C
Roberts, S Craig
Contact Email: craig.roberts@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Oral contraception
Pill
Attractiveness
Mate-choice
Disruption
Menstrual cycle
evolutionary psychology
psychology
Issue Date: Sep-2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Little A, Burriss R, Petrie M, Jones BC & Roberts SC (2013) Oral contraceptive use in women changes preferences for male facial masculinity and is associated with partner facial masculinity, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38 (9), pp. 1777-1785.
Abstract: Millions of women use hormonal contraception and it has been suggested that such use may alter mate preferences. To examine the impact of oral contraceptive (pill) use on preferences, we tested for within-subject changes in preferences for masculine faces in women initiating pill use. Between two sessions, initiation of pill use significantly decreased women's preferences for male facial masculinity but did not influence preferences for same-sex faces. To test whether altered preference during pill use influences actual partner choice, we examined facial characteristics in 170 age-matched male partners of women who reported having either been using or not using the pill when the partnership was formed. Both facial measurements and perceptual judgements demonstrated that partners of women who used the pill during mate choice have less masculine faces than partners of women who did not use hormonal contraception at this time. Our data (A) provide the first experimental evidence that initiation of pill use in women causes changes in facial preferences and (B) documents downstream effects of these changes on real-life partner selection. Given that hormonal contraceptive use is widespread, effects of pill use on the processes of partner formation have important implications for relationship stability and may have other biologically relevant consequences.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16721
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.02.014
Rights: Published in Psychoneuroendocrinology by Elsevier; The Elsevier Policy is as follows: Authors retain the right to use the accepted author manuscript for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting provided that these are not for purposes of commercial use or systematic distribution. An "accepted author manuscript" is the author’s version of the manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the processes of submission processing, peer review, and editor-author communications.
Affiliation: Psychology
Psychology
Newcastle University
University of Glasgow
Psychology

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