Does adult sex ratio predict regional variation in facial dominance perceptions? Evidence from an analysis of U.S. states

Jaimie S. Torrance, Michal Kandrik, Anthony J. Lee, Lisa M. DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones

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2 Citations (Scopus)


When the adult sex ratio of the local population is biased toward women, men face greater costs due to increased direct intrasexual competition. In order to mitigate these costs, men may be more attuned to cues of other men’s physical dominance under these conditions. Consequently, we investigated the relationships between the extent to which people (N = 3,586) ascribed high dominance to masculinized versus feminized faces and variation in adult sex ratio across U.S. states. Linear mixed models showed that masculinized faces were perceived as more dominant than feminized faces, particularly for judgments of men’s facial dominance. Dominance perceptions were weakly related to adult sex ratio, and this relationship was not moderated by face sex, participant sex, or their interaction. Thus, our results suggest that dominance perceptions are relatively unaffected by broad geographical differences in adult sex ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • adult sex ratio
  • dominance judgements
  • face perceptions
  • intrasexual competition
  • social perceptions

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