Recommended Conferences

Psychology and Mental Health

Chicago, USA
Related Subjects

Perceived health contributes to the attractiveness of facial symmetry, averageness and sexual dimorphism

Author(s): Rhodes G, Yoshikawa S, Palermo R, Simmons LW, Peters M, et al.


Symmetry, averageness, and sexual dimorphism (femininity in female faces, masculinity in male faces) are attractive in faces. Many have suggested that preferences for these traits may be adaptations for identifying healthy mates. If they are, then the traits should be honest indicators of health and their attractiveness should result from their healthy appearance. Much research has focused on whether these traits honestly signal health. Here we focused on whether the appeal of these traits results from their healthy appearance. Specifically, we tested whether the attractiveness of symmetry, averageness, and sexual dimorphism is reduced or eliminated when perceived health is controlled, in two large samples of Western faces and a large sample of Japanese faces. The appeal of symmetric faces was largely due to their healthy appearance, with most associations between symmetry and attractiveness eliminated when perceived health was controlled. A healthy appearance also contributed to the appeal of averageness and femininity in female faces and masculinity in male faces, although it did not fully explain their appeal. These results show that perceptions of attractiveness are sensitive to a healthy appearance, and are consistent with the hypothesis that preferences may be adaptations for mate choice.

Similar Articles

The secret power of beauty

Author(s): Armstrong J

Social pressures in informal groups: A study of a housing community

Author(s): Festinger L, Schachter S, Back K

The acquaintance process

Author(s): Newcomb TM

The portrayal of overweight and obese persons in commercial television

Author(s): Greenberg BS, Eastin M, Hofshire L, Lachlan K, Brownell KD

Facial diversity and infant preferences for attractive faces

Author(s): Langlois JH, Ritter JM, Roggman LA, Vaughn LS

Infant preferences for attractive faces: Rudiments of a stereotype? Dev Psychol 23: 363-369

Author(s): Langlois JH, Roggman LA, Casey RJ, Ritter JM, Rieser-Danner LA, et al.

Behavioral reduction of infection risk

Author(s): Kiesecker JM, Skelly DK, Beard KH, Preisser E

The behavioral immune system (and why it matters)

Author(s): Schaller M, Park JH

Origins of major human infectious diseases

Author(s): Wolfe ND, Dunavan CP, Diamond J

Facial disfigurement is treated like an infectious disease

Author(s): Ryan S, Oaten M, Stevenson RJ, Case TI

Red, rank and romance in women viewing men

Author(s): Elliot AJ, Niesta Kayser D, Greitemeyer T, Gramzow M, Lichtenfeld S, et al.

Red and romantic behavior in men viewing women

Author(s): Niesta Kayser D, Elliot AJ, Feltman R

Pathogen prevalence and human mate preferences

Author(s): Gangestad SW, Buss DM