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

By L Welling, B Jones, L Debruine, F Smith, D Feinberg, A Little and Emad A S Al-Dujaili

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. © 2008

Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:734
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