BC Jones, LG Boothroyd, DR Feinberg & LM DeBruine (2010). Age at menarche predicts individual differences in women’s preferences for masculinized male voices in adulthood. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(7): 860-863. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.007

Although researchers have suggested that adult women who experienced early puberty may demonstrate particularly strong preferences for masculine men, evidence for such an association is equivocal. Here we show that adult women’s preferences for masculinized male voices (i.e., male voices with lowered pitch) are negatively associated with the age at which they experienced first menses (i.e., age at menarche). Moreover, this relationship was independent of women’s stated preference for long- versus short-term relationships, suggesting that the relationship does not necessarily reflect individual differences in women’s preferred type of relationship. We discuss alternative mechanisms for the relationship between early puberty and women’s masculinity preferences, focusing on the possibility that girls who experience early puberty might learn to associate masculinity with desirable mates because of exposure to particularly masculine males during adolescence.

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