Facial masculinity increases perceptions of men's age, but not perceptions of their health: data from an Arab sample

Sarah AH Alharbi, Iris J Holzleitner, Anthony J Lee, S Adil Saribay, Benedict C Jones

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Masculine characteristics in men's faces are often assumed to function as health cues. However, evidence for this assumption from empirical tests is mixed. For example, research on Western women's face perceptions found that masculinized versions of men's faces were perceived to be older, but not healthier, than feminized versions. Since research on this topic has focused on Western women's face perceptions, we investigated the effects of masculinizing face images on Arab women's perceptions of men's health (study 1, N = 211) and age (study 2, N = 209). Arab women perceived masculinized versions of male face images to be older, but not healthier, than feminized versions. These results add to a growing body of evidence challenging the assumption that male facial masculinity functions primarily as a health cue.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • facial masculinity
  • perceptions
  • men's age
  • men's health
  • Arab women
  • health cues

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