Concordant preferences for opposite-sex signals? Human pheromones and facial characteristics

Cornwell, R.E., Boothroyd, L.G., Burt, D.M., Feinberg, D.R., Jones, B.C. , Little, A.C., Pitman, R.M., Whiten, S. and Perrett, D.I. (2004) Concordant preferences for opposite-sex signals? Human pheromones and facial characteristics. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 271(1539), pp. 635-640. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2649)

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Abstract

We have investigated whether preferences for masculine and feminine characteristics are correlated across two modalities, olfaction and vision. In study 1, subjects rated the pleasantness of putative male (4,16androstadien-3-one; 5alpha-androst-16-en-3-one) and female (1,3,5(10),16-estratetraen-3-ol) pheromones, and chose the most attractive face shape from a masculine-feminine continuum for a long- and a shortterm relationship. Study 2 replicated study 1 and further explored the effects of relationship context on pheromone ratings. For long-term relationships, women's preferences for masculine face shapes correlated with ratings of 4,16-androstadien-3-one and men's preferences for feminine face shapes correlated with ratings of 1,3,5(10),16-estratetraen-3-ol. These studies link sex-specific preferences for putative human sex pheromones and sexually dimorphic facial characteristics. Our findings suggest that putative sex pheromones and sexually dimorphic facial characteristics convey common information about the quality of potential mates.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jones, Professor Benedict
Authors: Cornwell, R.E., Boothroyd, L.G., Burt, D.M., Feinberg, D.R., Jones, B.C., Little, A.C., Pitman, R.M., Whiten, S., and Perrett, D.I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452

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