Men report stronger attraction to femininity in women's faces when their testosterone levels are high

Lisa L.M. Welling, Benedict C. Jones, Lisa M. DeBruine, Finlay G. Smith, David R. Feinberg, Anthony C. Little, Emad A.S. Al-Dujaili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies have shown that women's judgments of men's attractiveness are affected by changes in levels of sex hormones. However, no studies have tested for associations between changes in levels of sex hormones and men's judgments of women's attractiveness. To investigate this issue, we compared men's attractiveness judgments of feminized and masculinized women's and men's faces in test sessions where salivary testosterone was high and test sessions where salivary testosterone was relatively low. Men reported stronger attraction to femininity in women's faces in test sessions where salivary testosterone was high than in test sessions where salivary testosterone was low. This effect was found to be specific to judgments of opposite-sex faces. The strength of men's reported attraction to femininity in men's faces did not differ between high and low testosterone test sessions, suggesting that the effect of testosterone that we observed for judgments of women's faces was not due to a general response bias. Collectively, these findings suggest that changes in testosterone levels contribute to the strength of men's reported attraction to femininity in women's faces and complement previous findings showing that testosterone modulates men's interest in sexual stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008

Keywords

  • attractiveness
  • faces
  • mate preferences
  • sexual dimorphism
  • testosterone

Cite this

Welling, L. L. M., Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., Smith, F. G., Feinberg, D. R., Little, A. C., & Al-Dujaili, E. A. S. (2008). Men report stronger attraction to femininity in women's faces when their testosterone levels are high. Hormones and Behavior, 54(5), 703-708. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.07.012