Sexual orientation predicts men's preferences for sexually dimorphic face-shape characteristics: a replication study

Victor Shiramizu, Ciaran Docherty, Lisa M. DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many researchers have proposed that straight men prefer women’s faces displaying feminine shape characteristics at least partly because mating with such women will produce healthier offspring. Although a prediction of this adaptation-for-mate-choice hypothesis is that straight men will show stronger preferences for feminized versus masculinized versions of women’s faces than will gay men, only one previous study has directly tested this prediction. Here we directly replicated that study by comparing 623 gay and 3163 straight men’s preferences for feminized versus masculinized versions of faces. Consistent with the adaptation-for-mate-choice hypothesis of straight men’s femininity preferences, we found that straight men showed significantly stronger preferences for feminized female faces than did gay men. Consistent with previous research suggesting that gay men place a premium on masculinity in potential romantic partners, we also found that gay men showed significantly stronger preferences for masculinized versions of male faces than did straight men. Together, these findings indicate the sexual orientation contributes to individual differences in men’s face preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242262
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • sexual orientation
  • face preference
  • adaptation-for-mate-choice

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