(584 kB) Jones BC, DeBruine LM, Little AC & Feinberg DR (2009). Domain-specific variation in womenís preferences for masculine men. European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association in St Andrews, Scotland. April 2009.

Many studies have investigated whether preferences for putative cues of mate quality, such as symmetry and averageness, are best explained by domain-specific preferences for these cues in mate choice-relevant stimuli or by domain-general preferences for these cues in stimuli of any kind. It is not known, however, whether womenís preferences for masculine men are best explained by domain-specific or domain-general preferences for perceived masculinity. We show that womenís preferences for masculinity in menís faces and bodies are positively correlated, complementing previous findings for correlated female preferences for different markers of menís masculinity. Importantly, these correlations were not weakened when we controlled for womenís preferences for perceived masculinity in mate choice-irrelevant stimuli (cars, dogs, patterns, watches). These findings show that variation in womenís preferences for different markers of menís masculinity can be dissociated from variation in womenís preferences for perceived masculinity in mate choice-irrelevant stimuli, demonstrating domain-specific variation in womenís preferences for masculine men. Additionally, we show that ratings of the masculinity of menís faces and the same menís bodies are also positively correlated. Collectively, these findings support explanations of womenís preferences for masculine men in which different markers of menís masculinity are thought to signal a common underlying quality for which womenís preferences vary systematically.

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