Re-evaluating the role of partnership-related perceptions in women's preferences for men with masculine face shapes

Junzhi Dong, Kathlyne Leger, Anthony J. Lee, Yasaman Rafiee, Benedict C. Jones*, Victor K.M. Shiramizu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many researchers have proposed that women perceive men with masculine face shapes to be less suitable as parents and long-term partners than men with feminine face shapes, causing women to find masculine men more attractive for short-term than long-term relationships. However, recent work shows that results obtained using the type of experimentally manipulated stimuli that were employed in studies presenting evidence for these claims are not necessarily observed when natural (i.e., unmanipulated) face stimuli were used to suggest that the evidence for these claims may need to be revaluated. Consequently, we tested for possible relationships between ratings of natural male faces for parenting- and relationship-related traits and shape masculinity (Study 1) and also tested whether women's preferences for shape masculinity were stronger when natural male faces were rated for short-term relationships than when natural male faces were rated for long-term relationships (Studies 2 and 3). We saw no evidence for either of these predictions, instead finding that men with more attractive faces were perceived to be better parents and better long-term partners. Thus, our findings do not support the widely held view that masculine men are more attractive for short-term relationships because they are perceived to be unlikely to invest time and effort in their romantic partners and offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2024


  • attractiveness
  • faces
  • masculinity
  • mate preferences
  • parenting


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