DA Puts, BC Jones & LM DeBruine (2012). Sexual Selection on Human Faces and Voices. Annual Review of Sex Research, 49: 227-243. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2012.658924

Humans are highly sexually dimorphic primates, and some of the most conspicuous human sex differences occur in the face and voice. Consequently, we utilize research findings on human faces and voices to illustrate how human sex differences may have arisen by sexual selection, the type of natural selection favoring traits that increase mating opportunities. We review evidence suggesting that sexual selection shaped women’s faces and voices. However, sexual selection likely operated more strongly on men over human evolution. We thus focus on two types of sexual selection operating on men: female mate choice, which favors traits that attract females, and male contests, which favor traits for excluding competitors from mates by force or threat of force. We demonstrate how masculine faces and voices advertize critical information about men's mate value and threat potential, and review evidence that women's preferences and men's deference to masculine faces and voices reflect this information content. We discuss data suggesting that facial and vocal masculinity influence men's mating opportunities and reproduction and conclude by highlighting directions for future research.

Disclaimer: The information found and the views expressed in these homepages are not the responsibility of the University of Glasgow nor do they reflect institutional policy.