ArticlePDF Available

Sexual Selection, Physical Attractiveness, and Facial Neoteny: Cross-cultural Evidence and Implications

Authors:

Abstract

Physical attractiveness and its relation to the theory of sexual selection deserve renewed attention from cultural and biological anthropologists. This paper focuses on an anomaly associated with physical attractiveness-in our species, in contrast to many others, males seem to be more concerned than females with the attractiveness of potential sexual partners, perhaps because humans show far more age-related variance in female than in male fecundity. The resulting selection for male attraction to markers of female youth may lead incidentally to attraction to females displaying age-related cues in an exaggerated form. This paper reports cross-cultural evidence that males in five populations (Brazilians, U.S. Americans, Russians, Ache, and Hiwi) show an attraction to females with neotenous facial proportions (a combination of large eyes, small noses, and full lips) even after female age is controlled for. Two further studies show that female models have neotenous cephalofacial proportions relative to U.S. undergraduates and that drawings of faces artificially transformed to make them more or less neotenous are perceived as correspondingly more or less attractive. These results suggest several further lines of investigation, including the relationship between facial and bodily cues and the consequences of attraction to neoteny for morphological evolution.
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
6H[XDO6HOHFWLRQ3K\VLFDO$WWUDFWLYHQHVVDQG)DFLDO1HRWHQ\&URVVFXOWXUDO(YLGHQFHDQG
,PSOLFDWLRQV>DQG&RPPHQWVDQG5HSO\@
$XWKRUV'RXJ-RQHV&/RULQJ%UDFH:LOOLDP-DQNRZLDN.HYLQ1/DODQG/LVD(
0XVVHOPDQ-XGLWK+/DQJORLV/RUL$5RJJPDQ'DQLHO3«UXVVH%DUEDUD6FKZHGHU'RQDOG
6\PRQV
6RXUFH
&XUUHQW$QWKURSRORJ\
9RO1R'HFSS
3XEOLVKHGE\7KH8QLYHUVLW\RI&KLFDJR3UHVVRQEHKDOIRI:HQQHU*UHQ)RXQGDWLRQIRU
$QWKURSRORJLFDO5HVHDUFK
6WDEOH85/http://www.jstor.org/stable/2744016
$FFHVVHG
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless
you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you
may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.
Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at
http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ucpress.
Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed
page of such transmission.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
The University of Chicago Press and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research are collaborating
with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Current Anthropology.
http://www.jstor.org
... Wyniki badań na twarzach naturalnych pokazują, że atrakcyjna męska twarz to taka, która łączy cechy dojrzałe z cechami dziecięcymi takimi jak duże oczy (Cunningham i in. 1990), a w przypadku badań na męskich twarzach zmodyfikowanych za pomocą komputerowych technik warpingu (bazujących na zmianie kształtu twarzy) i morfingu polegającej na tworzeniu twarzy o pośrednim (między dwoma różnymi twarzami) kolorze i kształcie, że najatrakcyjniejsze są twarze wykazujące cechy niezwiązane ani z oznakami dorosłości, ani młodości, czyli preferowane są cechy świadczące o średnim wieku (Jones 1995). ...
... 1985). Wykazano, że najatrakcyjniejsze twarze męskie posiadają cechy związane z wiekiem o pośredniej wartości, czyli nie posiadają wyraźnej preferencji dla oznak młodości czy dorosłości (Jones 1995). ...
Book
Full-text available
Atrakcyjność fizyczna była przedmiotem zainteresowania już w starożytności, jednak naukowe badania nad atrakcyjnością fizyczną z perspektywy biologicznej rozpoczęły się dopiero w latach 90. ubiegłego wieku. Niegdyś uważano, że jest to właściwość zależna jedynie od mody lub gustu. Dziś wiemy, że wiele cech decydujących o atrakcyjności fizycznej człowieka stanowi ważny sygnał informujący o jakości biologicznej (wysokiejstabilności rozwojowej, zdrowiu i zdolności reprodukcyjnej) oraz wieku osobnika. Monografia ATRAKCYJNOŚĆ FIZYCZNA CZŁOWIEKA jest zbiorem kilkunastu prac naukowych dotyczących różnych aspektów (cech) wyglądu najczęściej decydujących o urodzie. Zawiera też prace dotyczące atrakcyjności głosu. Przedstawione oryginalne prace naukowe oparte są na różnorodnej metodologii. Dlatego oprócz walorów czysto poznawczych publikacja może być pomocna przy pisaniu prac naukowych, także dyplomowych. Twarz jako pierwsza przyciąga wzrok oceniających, szczególnie płci przeciwnej. Uważa się, że o atrakcyjności twarzy decydują głownie trzy jej elementy – oczy, nos i usta, a także jej symetria. Ocena takich cech twarzy jak: kolor i jakość skóry (czysta i gładka) i włosów, zarost, kolor i struktura tęczówki oka, kształt i kolor ust, kształt nosa czy rodzaj makijażu mają wpływ na postrzeganie atrakcyjności fizycznej człowieka. Związek męskiego głosu z budową fizyczną ciała jest niezwykle ciekawym zagadnieniem, zarówno dla antropologów fizycznych, jak i antropologów zajmujących się mechanizmami ewolucyjnymi. Kobiety oceniają niższe głosy mężczyzn, jako bardziej atrakcyjne, a ich właścicielom przypisują cechy takie, jak większa tężyzna fizyczna, wyższy wiek, intensywniejsze owłosienie klatki piersiowej i większe umięśnienie, a zgodność kobiet co do oceny tych parametrów jest bardzo duża. Ponieważ istnieje niewiele prac dotyczących związku atrakcyjności i jakości głosu z atrakcyjnością fizyczną ciała i twarzy, warto nadal kontynuować badania tego zagadnienia. Badania nad parametrami akustycznymi głosu człowieka są stosunkowo nowe. Wynika to z wcześniejszych ograniczeń technicznych związanych z rejestracją oraz analizą nagranych dźwięków. Jednakże dość szybko po udoskonaleniu narzędzi i opracowaniu odpowiedniej metodologii akustyka głosu znalazła się w kręgu zainteresowań biologów człowieka. Badania nad atrakcyjnością dotyczą też różnych form zdobienia ciała. Spośród mnogości prac na temat atrakcyjności bardzo niewielki odsetek stanowią artykuły poświęcone ich związkom z postrzeganiem ludzi przez otoczenie społeczne. Z pewnością warto prowadzić tego rodzaju badania, gdyż oprócz typowo poznawczego celu pozwolą one na ocenę i weryfikację obecne wciąż funkcjonujących stereotypów, szczególnie dotyczących tatuaży i piercingu. Krzysztof Borysławski
... Because both inexperience and youth may be confounded with perceptions of status and attractiveness (e.g., Jones et al., 1995;Wilson, 2008), we examine whether less attractive female professors are more vulnerable to backlash even when years of experience is statistically controlled. Moreover, we will explore the possibility that inexperience and/or youth may increase women's vulnerability to backlash: The oftobserved gender bias in student evaluations is more pronounced for younger faculty ( Mengel et al., 2018). ...
... Because age and attractiveness may be confounded (e.g., Jones et al., 1995), and years of experience (a potential proxy for age) and attractiveness were correlated for female professors (r ¼ .11), we examined whether status and attractiveness continued to predict female professors' overall quality ratings after controlling for the unique and interactive effects of years of experience. ...
Article
This research unpacks backlash against female professors by examining how individual characteristics and social context interact to predict student evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com. As predicted, students evaluated female professors in high-status departments more negatively than female professors in low-status departments, and this backlash effect was attenuated when the female professor was “hot.” Moreover, backlash was most pronounced for female professors who had been hired more recently and who were tough graders. A follow-up experiment replicated the main findings concerning status and attractiveness and suggested that perceived gender nonconformity may help to explain backlash against female professors.
... Studies of facial attractiveness have also documented that the nose is important when assessing attractiveness (Jones, 1995) and by rating the attractiveness of several attributes of a face, before rating the entire face, Meerdink and coworkers (1990) found that attractiveness of the nose was highly correlated with overall attractiveness. Not surprisingly, among the plastic surgeries done for aesthetic reasons, a large amount of patients undergo rhinoplasty (Babuccu et al., 2003, Mondin, Rinaldo & Ferlito 2005. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Amplifiers are signals that improve the perception of underlying differences in quality. They are cost free and advantageous to high quality individuals, but disadvantageous to low quality individuals, as poor quality is easier perceived because of the amplifier. For an amplifier to evolve, the average fitness benefit to the high quality individuals should be higher than the average cost for the low quality individuals. The human nose is, compared to the nose of most other primates, extraordinary large, fragile and easily broken – especially in male-male interactions. May it have evolved as an amplifier, allowing easy assessment of individual quality and influencing the perception of attractiveness? Methods: We tested whether nose tip centrality had a particular influence on attractiveness by manipulating the position of the nose tip or, as a control, the mouth in facial pictures and had the pictures rated for attractiveness. Results: Our results show that facial attractiveness is not influenced by mouth manipulations. Yet, facial attractiveness increased when the nose tip was artificially centered according to other facial features. Conversely, facial attractiveness decreased when the nose tip was displaced away from its central position. Discussion: Our results suggest that the centering of the nose tip is important for evaluation of attractiveness, maybe because it has a particularly strong effect on our perception of facial symmetry or averageness. However, whether such centering is related to individual quality remains unclear.
... Uzun süreli çiftleşmelerde erkekler sayısız doğurgan ve bu yüzden değerli olan çiftleşme partnerleri arasından en uygun olanı seçmek zorundadır. Evrimsel olarak işleyen bu mekanizmanın bir sonucu olarak günümüzde JOURNAL OF SOCIAL, HUMANITIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE SCIENCES 2020 6 (31): 1606-1616 ergenler dahil tüm erkekler, gençlik ve fiziksel görünüş gibi doğurganlık işaretlerini tanıyabilecek şekilde evrimleşmişlerdir (Cunningham et al., 1995;Jones, 1995;Singh, 1993). ...
Article
Full-text available
ÖZET Günümüz toplumlarında kadın ve erkek arasında eşit haklar önem taşımakta olsa da yetiştirilme tarzı ve fizyolojik yapılarından dolayı erkeklerin ve kadınların romantik ilişkilere yaklaşımlarında farklılıklar vardır. Psikoloji alanındaki cinsiyet farklılıkları araştırmaları erkekler ve kadınlar arasındaki bilişsel ve davranışsal farklılıkları araştırır. Bu araştırmalarda çeşitli biçimler alan deneysel biliş testlerini kullanır. Testler, IQ uzamsal muhakeme saldırganlık duygusu ve beyin yapısı ve işlevi gibi alanlardaki olası farklılıklara odaklanır ve farklılıkların bulunduğu sosyal ve çevresel faktörler, farklılıkların bulunduğu durumlarda araştırmacılar için farklılıkların doğuştan olup olmadığını değerlendirmek zor olabilir. Bu doğrultuda romantik ilişkilerde cinsiyet farkları literatürsel açıdan irdelenmiştir. ABSTRACT Although equal rights between men and women are important in today's societies, there are differences in the approach of men and women to romantic relationships due to their upbringing and physiological structures. Gender differences research in the field of psychology investigates the cognitive and behavioral differences between men and women. It uses experimental cognition tests that take various forms in these studies. The tests focus on possible differences in areas such as IQ spatial reasoning, sense of aggression and brain structure and function, and social and environmental factors where there are differences can be difficult for researchers to assess whether the differences are congenital. Accordingly, gender differences in romantic relationships have been examined in literature.
... An important component of what heterosexual men find physically attractive in a mate across cultures is youth. Neoteny (i.e., the retention of juvenile features) may be a supernormal stimulus that when exaggerated in women, particularly facial cues, makes them look more youthful and attractive (Jones et al., 1995). This can motivate women to compete over aspects of their physical appearance that correspond to men's evolved mate preferences (e.g., youth). ...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have highlighted numerous sociocultural factors that have been shown to underpin human appearance enhancement practices, including the influence of peers, family, the media, and sexual objectification. Fewer scholars have approached appearance enhancement from an evolutionary perspective or considered how sociocultural factors interact with evolved psychology to produce appearance enhancement behavior. Following others, we argue that evidence from the field of evolutionary psychology can complement existing sociocultural models by yielding unique insight into the historical and cross-cultural ubiquity of competition over aspects of physical appearance to embody what is desired by potential mates. An evolutionary lens can help to make sense of reliable sex and individual differences that impact appearance enhancement, as well as the context-dependent nature of putative adaptations that function to increase physical attractiveness. In the current review, appearance enhancement is described as a self-promotion strategy used to enhance reproductive success by rendering oneself more attractive than rivals to mates, thereby increasing one’s mate value. The varied ways in which humans enhance their appearance are described, as well as the divergent tactics used by women and men to augment their appearance, which correspond to the preferences of opposite-sex mates in a heterosexual context. Evolutionarily relevant individual differences and contextual factors that vary predictably with appearance enhancement behavior are also discussed. The complementarity of sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives is emphasized and recommended avenues for future interdisciplinary research are provided for scholars interested in studying appearance enhancement behavior.
... Multiple studies, often in the realm of biology, consumer design, and social psychology, have shown that beauty may influence how we allocate our resources and attention (Lindell and Lindell, 2014). Physical beauty has been shown to be a primary driver of impression formation, correlating to giving more nurturing to children (Langlois et al., 1995), to mate selection (Buss and Barnes, 1986;Grammer and Thornhill, 1994;Jones, 1995), to choosing job candidates or to whom to loan money (Chiu and Babcock, 2002;Ravina, 2008), finding others to be relatively more competent or morally good (Tsukiura and Cabeza, 2010), as well as to finding objects and products to be more useful or important (Hassenzahl, 2008;Tractinsky et al., 2000). Perhaps even more basic, beauty may be a determinant for where and for how long we may even look. ...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have routinely shown that individuals spend more time spontaneously looking at people or at mimetic scenes that they subsequently judge to be more aesthetically appealing. This “beauty demands longer looks” phenomenon is typically explained by biological relevance, personal utility, or other survival factors, with visual attraction often driven by structural features (symmetry, texture), which may signify fitness and to which most humans tend to respond similarly. However, what of objects that have less overtly adaptive relevance? Here, we consider whether people also look longer at abstract art with little associative/mimetic content that they subsequently rate for higher aesthetic appeal. We employed the “Visual aesthetic sensitivity test” (VAST), which consists of pairs of matched abstract designs with one example of each pair argued to be objectively ‘aesthetically better’ in regards to low-level features, thus offering a potential contrast between ‘objective’ (physical feature-based) and ‘subjective’ (personal taste-based) assessments. Participants (29 women) first looked at image pairs without a specific task and then in three follow-up blocks indicated their preference within the pairs and rated the individual images for liking and for presumed ratings by an art expert. More preferred designs were looked at longer. However, longer looking only occurred in line with participants' subjective tastes. This suggests a general correlation of attention and visual beauty, which—in abstract art—may nonetheless be related to features that are not identified by experts as more generally appealing and thus may not directly map to other (more utility-related) stimuli types.
... An adult person who conforms to the Kindchenschema is viewed as more kind, innocent, and youthful than those with a lesser degree of these characteristics. Perception of baby-faced adults as more innocent seems to also be consistent cross-culturally (Friedman and Zebrowitz 1992;Jones 1995). Similar responses can be seen among adults towards human infants, where cuter infants are seen as healthier and are more likely to be adopted (Casey and Ritter 1996;Volk and Quinsey 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
This research seeks to expand on the current literature surrounding scientific and aesthetic concepts of cuteness through a biosemiotic lens. By first re-evaluating Konrad Lorenz’s Kindchenschema, and identifying the importance of schematic vs featural perception, we identify the presence of a series of perceptual errors that underlie existing research on cuteness. There is, then, a need to better understand the cognitive structure underlying one’s perception of cuteness. We go on to employ the methodological framework of Modeling Systems Theory to identify and establish the forms that underlie both the encoding and decoding of cute phenomena. In redefining cuteness as a cohesive code, and establishing Kindchenschema as a schematic metaform, we set the foundation for the incorporation of biological and cultural theories of cuteness. This research offers an initial methodological framework for the examination of cute artifacts, that can be utilized in the fields of normative aesthetics, marketing, and design.
Preprint
Full-text available
Is face beauty universally perceived from a common basis of objectively definable face features, or is it irreducibly subjective and in the idiosyncratic eye of the cultural, or even individual beholder? We addressed this longstanding debate by objectively modelling the face beauty preferences of 80 individual male participants across Western European (WE) and East Asian (EA) cultures. With state-of-the-art 3D face capture technology, we derived a generative model that synthesized on each trial a random WE or EA female face whose shape and complexion is constrained by natural face variations. Each participant rated the attractiveness of the face on a Likert scale. We then reverse correlated these subjective ratings with the synthesized shape and complexion face parameters to reconstruct individual face models of attractiveness for same and other ethnicity faces. By analyzing the resulting 80 individual models and reconstructing the representation space of face beauty, we addressed several key questions. Against popular belief, we show that the most attractive faces are not average face. Instead, attractive features are at the outskirts of the natural distribution of face variations, suggesting a selection pressure away from the average. Such features also form their own subspace that is separate from cues of sexual dimorphism (i.e. masculine vs. feminine). Finally, we reveal the global preferences of face features across cultures, and specific cultural and individual participant idiosyncrasies. Our results therefore represent face attractiveness in its diversity to inform and impact fundamental theories of human social perception and signalling and the design of globalized digital avatars.
Article
Objectives The aim of the present study was to investigate sexual dimorphism in the full facial shape of modern Buryats—people of Southern Siberia of Mongolian origin. Methods For this purpose, we have used geometric morphometrics based on standardized full‐face frontal photographs. This allowed us to assess and visualize differences in facial shapes between Buryat men (n = 98) and women (n = 89). To specify the facial areas, where the differences occurred, we have complemented our analysis with standard anthropometric facial parameters based on approximations to the craniofacial and mandibular landmarks and soft‐tissue morphology of specific facial areas. Results Our results revealed that Buryat women have a set of sexually dimorphic features similar to those reported earlier for other Asian populations (a relatively wider and vertically shorter lower face, more round visible areas of the eyes, relatively narrower noses, smaller mouths, larger [in vertical dimension] foreheads, and relatively thinner upper lips, when compared to Buryat males). At the same time, Buryat women had a specific characteristic, distinguishing them from other world populations—a significantly higher upper face width‐to‐height ratio (fWHR) compared to males. This indicates that the high fWHR is not a universally male feature in humans, which raises a question of underlying developmental mechanisms. Conclusions Our results clearly demonstrate that some elements of sexually dimorphic facial shapes may differ across populations with different genetic and ecological backgrounds, and suggest that universal mechanisms of sex‐specific facial morphogenesis still need to be clarified in the future.
Article
Full-text available
The nose is central in the determination of facial esthetics. The variations in its structural characteristics greatly influence the ultimate dentoskeletal positioning at the end of an orthodontic therapy. A careful insight into its developmental etiology will greatly aid the health care professional in identifying patient's real concern about the facial appearance. This in turn will aid in the fabrication of a better treatment plan regarding the end placement goals for the teeth and jaws in all the three dimensions of space. However, this important structure is often missed as a part of the diagnostic and treatment planning regime owing to the lack of meticulous understanding of its developmental etiology by the orthodontists. The development of the nose in the embryo occurs in pre skeletal and skeletal phases by a well-coordinated and regulated interaction of multiple signaling cascades with the crucial importance of each factor in the entire mechanism. The five key factors, which control frontonasal development are sonic hedgehog (SHH), fibroblast growth factors (FGF), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), wingless (WNT) proteins, and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). The recent evidence suggests the association of various nasal dimensions and their related syndromes with multiple genes. The revelation of nasal genetic makeup in totality will aid in ascertaining the direction of growth, which will govern our orthodontic treatment results and will also act as a harbinger for potential genetic editing and tissue engineering. This article describes at length the morphological and genetic aspect of nasal growth and development in light of the gender and racial variability along with the emphasis on the importance of knowing these nasal features with regard to diagnosis and treatment planning in orthodontics.
Article
Full-text available
Examined the effects of having a physically attractive romantic partner on person perception. In Exp I, 28 male and 28 female undergraduates formed impressions of a male stimulus person who was presented either as the boyfriend of, or as unassociated with, a female confederate who appeared as either an attractive or unattractive woman. As hypothesized, the stimulus person was evaluated most favorably when he was associated with the attractive woman. Least favorable impressions occurred when he was associated with the unattractive woman. In Exp II, 40 male undergraduates predicted the impressions that raters would form of them. Ss expected to be target persons who, along with a female confederate (attractive or unattractive), would be presented to a rater as associated (boyfriend and girlfriend) or as unassociated. As predicted, Ss believed they would be viewed most favorably in the attractive-associated condition and viewed least favorably in the unattractive-associated condition. The status of physical attractiveness as a variable is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Evolutionary biology and feminism share a variety of philosophical and practical concerns. I have tried to describe how a perspective from both evolutionary biology and feminism can accelerate the achievement of goals for both feminists and evolutionary biologists. In an early section of this paper I discuss the importance of variation to the disciplines of evolutionary biology and feminism. In the section entitled "Control of Female Reproduction" I demonstrate how insight provided by participation in life as woman and also as a feminist suggests testable hypotheses about the evolution of social behavior-hypotheses that are applicable to our investigations of the evolution of social behavior in nonhuman animals. In the section on "Deceit, Self-deception, and Patriarchal Reversals" I have overtly conceded that evolutionary biology, a scientific discipline, also represents a human cultural practice that, like other human cultural practices, may in parts and at times be characterized by deceit and self-deception. In the section on "Femininity" I have indicated how questions cast and answered and hypotheses tested from an evolutionary perspective can serve women and men struggling with sexist oppression.
Article
Most research on mate choice in modern societies is based on data that may or may not reflect actual mating behavior (e.g., stated preferences, personal advertisements). In the present study, real-life matings were reported by a large representative sample of men and women (N = 1,133). These data were used to test an evolutionary model in which mate choice is hypothesized to depend on resources potentially contributed to reproduction by each sex. Consistent with the model, it was found that (a) men (but not women) of higher social status acquire more mating partners, suggesting that male status is an important criterion in female choice; (b) women's (but not men's) number of partners decreases linearly with age, suggesting that female reproductive potential is an important criterion in male choice; and (c) women (but not men) display a significant relationship between marital dissolution and promiscuity, suggesting that female sexual exclusivity is an important criterion in male choice. These results are discussed in relation to understanding mate choice mechanisms from behavioral data.
Article
This paper examines the role of body fat distribution as measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) on the judgment of women's physical attractiveness. It presents evidence that WHR is correlated with a woman's reproductive endocrinological status and long-term health risk. Three studies were conducted to investigate whether humans have perceptual and cognitive mechanisms to utilize the WHR to infer attributes of women's health, youthfulness, attractiveness, and reproductive capacity. College-age as well as older subjects of both sexes rank female figures with normal weight and low WHR as attractive and assign to them higher reproductive capability. The study concludes that WHR is a reliable and honest signal of a woman's reproductive potential. The adaptive significance of body fat distribution and its role in mate selection is also discussed.
Article
A set of four facial stimuli derived from the Bolton standards of craniofacial development representing a human male at 6 months, 3, 8, and 18 years of age were used in a test of Lorenz's concept of babyishness and of the discrepancy hypothesis. Each 4-month-old subject was habituated to a criterion with one of the four stimuli and then presented with one of the four as a new stimulus. The design and analysis permitted the response to a new stimulus to be broken down into a component attributable to the physical characteristics of the new stimulus and a part attributable to its discrepancy from the familiar standard. The data revealed longer looking at the infant facial stimulus, but no difference in a rating of affect accompanying fixation. This lent partial support to the babyishness concept for infant subjects. Both fixation and affect increased monotonically with magnitude of discrepancy. The increasing rather than curvilinear result presumably derived from the failure of these stimuli (which were common to the infant's experience) to generate extreme levels of subjective uncertainty.
Article
Subjects provided their impressions of stimulus faces that systematically varied in attractiveness and babyishness. The results indicate that variations in facial babyishness can qualify the effects of attractiveness on social perception. For example facially attractive people are thought to be more honest, warm, and sincere than average when facial babyishness is high but not when it is low. The data are consistent with the proposal that there are different types of facial attractiveness that yield different impressions. The data also revealed that the effects of facial babyishness on impressions can be modulated by variations in attractiveness. The implications of these data for our under-standing of the effects of facial appearance on social perceptions are discussed.
Article
In most animals, members of one sex compete more intensely for mates than members of the other sex, and show a greater development of secondary sexual traits. The relative intensity of mating competition in the two sexes depends on the operational sex ratio (OSR) (the ratio of males that are ready to mate to females that are ready to mate) at the site and time when mating occurs. The extent and direction of biases in the OSR is closely related to the potential rates of reproduction that individual males and females can achieve, although the distribution of the two sexes in space and time, sex differences in development time or life expectancy, and biases in the sex ratio at birth or hatching can also be important. The potential rates of reproduction in the two sexes are, in turn, affected by the proportion of time and energy expended by male and female parents on their progeny, though other factors may constrain reproductive rate in one or both sexes. We outline a simple model of the factors affecting the OSR, where relative parental expenditure by the two sexes and the adult sex ratio are fixed, and a more complex model where the adult sex ratio varies in relation to the reproductive activity of the two sexes. This framework for relating sex differences in mating competition to the OSR, potential reproductive rates, and parental expenditure differs from Trivers's concept of the relation between parental investment and mating competition in three ways: first, it identifies the OSR as the immediate factor determining which sex competes most intensely for mates; second, it recognizes that factors other than the future fitness costs of rearing offspring can affect the potential reproductive rate of the two sexes; third, it suggests an empirical measure (potential reproductive rate) that can be estimated in natural populations and used to predict the distribution of mating competition.
Article
We reported in this journal (Langlois & Roggman, 1990) findings showing that attractive faces are those that represent the mathematical average of faces in a population These findings were intriguing because they provided a parsimonious definition of facial attractiveness and because they supported explanations of attractiveness from the point of view of both evolutionary and cognitive-prototype theory Since our 1990 report, several alternative explanations of our findings have been offered In this article, we show that none of these alternatives explains our results adequately
Article
Scientists and philosophers have searched for centuries for a parsimonious answer to the question of what constitutes beauty. We approached this problem from both an evolutionary and information-processing rationale and predicted that faces representing the average value of the population would be consistently judged as attractive. To evaluate this hypothesis, we digitized samples of male and female faces, mathematically averaged them, and had adults judge the attractiveness of both the individual faces and the computer-generated composite images. Both male (three samples) and female (three samples) composite faces were judged as more attractive than almost all the individual faces comprising the composites. A strong linear trend also revealed that the composite faces became more attractive as more faces were entered. These data showing that attractive faces are only average are consistent with evolutionary pressures that favor characteristics close to the mean of the population and with cognitive processes that favor prototypical category members.