S Röder, BC Jones & B Fink (2013). Facial, olfactory, and vocal cues to female reproductive value. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(2): 392-404.

Facial, olfactory, and vocal cues may advertise women’s fertility. However, most of the evidence for this proposal has come from studies of changes in young adult women’s attractiveness over the menstrual cycle. By contrast with this emphasis on changes in attractiveness over the menstrual cycle, possible changes in women’s attractiveness over their lifespan have received little attention. The present study investigated men’s ratings of young girls’ (11-15 years old), adult women’s (19-30 years old) and circum-menopausal women’s (50-65 years old) facial, body odor, and vocal attractiveness and femininity. Faces and voices, but not body odors, of young girls and adult women were perceived to be significantly more attractive and feminine than those of circum-menopausal women. These data suggest that facial and vocal cues may be cues to women’s reproductive value, but that body odor cues do not necessarily advertise this information.

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