Stability of women's facial shape throughout the menstrual cycle

Marcinkowska, U.M. and Holzleitner, I.J. (2020) Stability of women's facial shape throughout the menstrual cycle. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 287(1924), 20192910. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2910) (PMID:32259474)

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Facial characteristics can serve as a cue for judgements of multiple human traits, from maternal tendencies, overall fertility to sexual openness. In this study, we tested previously found fluctuations in facial shape throughout the menstrual cycle. With methods more robust than those formerly used (larger sample size and detailed hormonal assessments determining the timing of the ovulation), we did not find significant changes in either of the three facial measurements conducted: symmetry, averageness and sexual dimorphism (all F ≤ 0.78, all partial η2 ≤ 0.01, all p ≥ 0.542). After narrowing the sample to cycles that had a higher probability of being ovulatory (based on daily measurements of luteinizing hormone and oestradiol), the results remained non-significant (all F ≤ 1.20, all partial η2 ≤ 0.03, all p ≥ 0.315). Our results (i) suggest that the previously found increased facial attractiveness of women in the most fertile phase of the menstrual cycle is not driven by changes in facial shape, but might instead stem from other changes in facial appearance, such as a more attractive skin tone; and (ii) underline the importance of replication of studies with new methods.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was funded by the Polish National Science Center (grant no. 2014/12/S/NZ8/00722) and the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission (grant no. PL/2018/42/SR) to U.M.M., and a European Research Council grant (grant no. 647910 KINSHIP) to I.H.
Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Immunology and Microbiology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Environmental Science, General Medicine
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Holzleitner, Dr Iris
Authors: Marcinkowska, U.M., and Holzleitner, I.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:08 April 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 287(1924):20192910
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172112KINSHIP: How do humans recognise kin?Lisa DebruineEuropean Research Council (ERC)647910NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)