Boothroyd LG, Jones BC, Burt DM, DeBruine LM & Perrett DI (2008). Facial correlates of sociosexuality. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(3): 211-218. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.12.009

Previous studies have documented variation in sexual behaviour between individuals leading to the notion of 'restricted' individuals (people preferring long-term relationships) and 'unrestricted' individuals (who are open to short-term relationships). Observers have been previously found to distinguish sexual strategy from video footage of individuals. In the current study we assess the ability of observers to judge sexual strategy based specifically on cues in both facial composite images and real faces. We also assess how observer’s perceptions of the masculinity/femininity and attractiveness of the observed faces related to sociosexual orientation. Observers were generally able to identify restricted vs unrestricted individuals using both composites and real faces. Less restricted sociosexuality was generally associated with greater masculinity in male composites and greater attractiveness in female composites and real female faces. Although men generally did not consider sociosexuality to affect the attractiveness of male faces, female observers generally preferred more restricted males' faces. These results suggest that women are (perhaps subconsciously) averse to unrestricted men and support previous findings that androgenisation in men is related to less restricted sexual behaviour.

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