Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/17911
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Title: Human preferences for facial masculinity change with relationship type and environmental harshness
Authors: Little, Anthony
Cohen, Danielle L
Jones, Benedict C
Belsky, Jay
Contact Email: anthony.little@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: AVAILABILITY
Benefits
COST
Costs
environment
environments
evidence
Face
Faces
Female
Females
humans
LEVEL
levels
LONG-TERM
Male
Masculinity
Men
PARTICIPANTS
PARTNERSHIP
preference
Preferences
QUALITY
relationship
relationships
SHAPE
TERMS
Women
work
Issue Date: Apr-2007
Publisher: SPRINGER
Citation: Little A, Cohen DL, Jones BC & Belsky J (2007) Human preferences for facial masculinity change with relationship type and environmental harshness, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 61 (6), pp. 967-973.
Abstract: In humans (Homo sapiens), sexual dimorphism in face shape has been proposed to be linked to quality in both men and women. Although preferences for high-quality mates might be expected, previous work has suggested that high quality may be associated with decreased investment in partnerships. In line with a trade-off between partner quality and investment, human females have been found to prefer higher levels of masculinity when judging under conditions where the benefits of quality would be maximised and the costs of low investment would be minimised. In this study, we examined facultative preferences for masculinity/femininity under hypothetical high and low environmental harshness in terms of resource availability in which participants were asked to imagine themselves in harsh/safe environments. We demonstrate that environmental harshness influences preferences for sexual dimorphism differently according to whether the relationship is likely to be short or long term. Women prefer less-masculine male faces and men prefer less-feminine female faces for long-term than short-term relationships under conditions of environmental harshness. Such findings are consistent with the idea that high-quality partners may be low investors and suggest that under harsh ecological conditions, both men and women favour a low-quality/high-investment partner for long-term relationships. For short-term relationships, where investment is not an important variable, preferences for sexual dimorphism were similar for the low and high environmental harshness conditions. These results provide experimental evidence that human preferences may be contingent on the environment an individual finds itself inhabiting.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/17911
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-006-0325-7
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Psychology
Lebanon Valley College
University of Aberdeen
Birkbeck University of London

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