Testosterone-to-Estradiol Ratio is Associated with Female Facial Attractiveness

Probst, Fabian; Bobst, Cora; Lobmaier, Janek S. (2015). Testosterone-to-Estradiol Ratio is Associated with Female Facial Attractiveness. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 69(1), pp. 89-99. Psychology Press 10.1080/17470218.2015.1024696

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The relationship between facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, yet few studies have investigated the underlying biological factors of an attractive face. Many researchers have proposed a link between female attractiveness and sex hormones, but there is little empirical evidence in support this assumption. In the present study we investigated the relationship between circulating sex hormones and attractiveness. We created prototypes by separately averaging photographs of 15 women with high and low levels of testosterone, estradiol, and testosterone-to-estradiol ratio levels, respectively. An independent set of facial images was then shape transformed toward these prototypes. We paired the resulting images in such a way that one face depicted a female with high hormone level and the other a low hormone level. Fifty participants were asked to choose the more attractive face of each pair. We found that low testosterone-to-estradiol ratio and low testosterone were positively associated with female facial attractiveness. There was no preference for faces with high estradiol levels. In an additional experiment with 36 participants we confirmed that a low testosterone-to-estradiol ratio plays a larger role than low testosterone alone. These results provide empirical evidence that an attractive female face is shaped by interacting effects of testosterone and estradiol.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology > Biologische Psychologie (SNF)

UniBE Contributor:

Probst, Fabian; Bobst, Cora and Lobmaier, Janek

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0272-4987

Publisher:

Psychology Press

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Janek Lobmaier

Date Deposited:

05 Mar 2015 13:47

Last Modified:

21 Jul 2017 10:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/17470218.2015.1024696

Uncontrolled Keywords:

facial attractiveness, face structure,vsexual dimorphism, estrogen, testosterone

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.64049

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/64049

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