Does self-rated attractiveness predict women's preferences for facial masculinity? Data from an Arab sample

Sarah A. H. Alharbi, Iris J. Holzleitner, S. Adil Saribay, Benedict C. Jones, Anthony J. Lee

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Abstract

Objectives
Because more attractive women may be better able to attract and/or retain masculine mates, many researchers have proposed that women who consider themselves to be more physically attractive will show stronger preferences for men displaying masculine facial characteristics. Empirical evidence for this putative association between women's self-rated attractiveness and preference for facial masculinity has come almost entirely from studies of Western women. Thus, we investigated whether this pattern of results also occurs in a sample of non-Western women.

Methods
We investigated the relationship between self-rated attractiveness and facial-masculinity preferences in a sample of Arab women (N = 281). Facial-masculinity preferences were assessed from attractiveness judgments of masculinized versus feminized versions of face images.

Results
By contrast with previous findings for Western women's self-rated attractiveness, we observed no compelling evidence that Arab women who considered themselves to be more attractive showed stronger preferences for masculine men.

Conclusions
Our results suggest that previously reported associations between self-rated attractiveness and masculinity preferences might be somewhat culture specific, potentially reflecting cultural differences in typical mating strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalAdaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online date8 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • facial attractiveness
  • mate preferences
  • cultural differences
  • individual differences
  • condition-dependent preferences
  • market value

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