Due to human biparental care, we might expect few differences in the characteristics that men and women find attractive in opposite-sex faces. Indeed, evidence shows that both men and women prefer opposite-sex faces with characteristics that are likely to signal current or long-term health, such as symmetry, averageness, and a healthy weight. However, while men have strong preferences for feminine female faces, women do not show the strong, consistent preferences for male masculinity that were initially predicted. Trade-off theory suggests that this may be due to male masculinity signaling both positive traits (e.g., health) and negative traits (e.g., low investment). Despite controversy about the exact mechanisms, trade-off theory has shown great utility in predicting the circumstances under which women prefer masculine male traits more or less. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0314-6_14
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