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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Men's strategic preferences for femininity in female faces
Author(s): Little, Anthony
Jones, Benedict C
Feinberg, David R
Perrett, David I
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Issue Date: Aug-2014
Date Deposited: 16-Jun-2015
Citation: Little A, Jones BC, Feinberg DR & Perrett DI (2014) Men's strategic preferences for femininity in female faces. British Journal of Psychology, 105 (3), pp. 364-381.
Abstract: Several evolutionarily relevant sources of individual differences in face preference have been documented for women. Here, we examine three such sources of individual variation in men's preference for female facial femininity: term of relationship, partnership status and self-perceived attractiveness. We show that men prefer more feminine female faces when rating for a short-term relationship and when they have a partner (Study 1). These variables were found to interact in a follow-up study (Study 2). Men who thought themselves attractive also preferred more feminized female faces for short-term relationships than men who thought themselves less attractive (Study 1 and Study 2). In women, similar findings for masculine preferences in male faces have been interpreted as adaptive. In men, such preferences potentially reflect that attractive males are able to compete for high-quality female partners in short-term contexts. When a man has secured a mate, the potential cost of being discovered may increase his choosiness regarding short-term partners relative to unpartnered men, who can better increase their short-term mating success by relaxing their standards. Such potentially strategic preferences imply that men also face trade-offs when choosing relatively masculine or feminine faced partners. In line with a trade-off, women with feminine faces were seen as more likely to be unfaithful and more likely to pursue short-term relationships (Study 3), suggesting that risk of cuckoldry is one factor that may limit men's preferences for femininity in women and could additionally lead to preferences for femininity in short-term mates.
DOI Link: 10.1111/bjop.12043
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo 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. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Little A, Jones BC, Feinberg DR & Perrett DI (2014) Men's strategic preferences for femininity in female faces, British Journal of Psychology, 105 (3), pp. 364-381, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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