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Mating strategy theories assert that women's preferences for androgen dependent traits in men are stronger when the costs of reduced paternal investment are lowest. Past research has shown that preferences for facial masculinity are stronger among nulliparous and non-pregnant women than pregnant or parous women. In two studies, we examine patterns in women's preferences for men's facial hair - likely the most visually conspicuous and sexually dimorphic of men's secondary sexual traits - when evaluating men's masculinity, dominance, age, fathering, and attractiveness. Two studies were conducted among heterosexual pregnant women, mothers, non-contractive and contraceptive users. Study 1 used a between-subjects sample (N = 2103) and found that mothers had significantly higher preferences for beards when judging fathering than all other women. Pregnant women and mothers also judged beards as more masculine and older, but less attractive, than non-contractive and contraceptive users. Parous women judged beards higher for age, masculinity and fathering, but lower for attractiveness, than nulliparous women. Irrespective of reproductive status, beards were judged as looking more dominant than clean-shaven faces. Study 2 used a within-subjects design (N = 53) among women surveyed during pregnancy and three months post-partum. Judgments of parenting skills were higher for bearded stimuli during pregnancy among women having their first baby, whereas among parous women parenting skills judgments for bearded stimuli were higher post-partum. Our results suggest that mothers are sensitive to beardedness as a masculine secondary sexual characteristic that may denote parental investment, providing evidence that women's mate preferences could reflect sexual selection for direct benefits.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Hormones and behavior
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Potassium channel whose permeability to ions is extremely sensitive to the transmembrane potential difference. The opening of these channels is induced by the membrane depolarization of the ACTION POTENTIAL.
A form of inheritance where the traits of the offspring are paternal in origin due to the expression of extra-nuclear genetic material such as MITOCHONDRIAL DNA or Y chromosome genes. CENTRIOLES are also paternally inherited.
Still images produced from radiation-sensitive materials (sensitive to light, electron beams, or nuclear radiation), generally by means of the chemical action of light on a sensitive film, paper, glass, or metal. Photographs may be positive or negative, opaque or transparent.
Age of the biological father.
Prolonged separation of the offspring from the father.
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Obstetrics and gynaecology
Fertility Menopause Obstetrics & Gynaecology Osteoporosis Women's Health Obstetrics and gynaecology comprises the care of the pregnant woman, her unborn child and the management of diseases specific to women. Most consultant...
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of sexual health; "the state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction and infirmity. Sexual health requires a posit...