Whither the Face? Impact of Menopause on Facial Attractiveness.

Lobmaier, Janek; Kuster, Andrina (6 April 2017). Whither the Face? Impact of Menopause on Facial Attractiveness. (Unpublished). In: Annual conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA). Paris, France. 06.04.-08.04.2017.

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Objective: Accumulating evidence suggests an association between levels of reproductive hormones and a woman's attractiveness. For example, women with high estradiol levels are perceived as being more attractive than women with relatively low levels of estradiol. Moreover, women appear slightly more attractive around ovulation (when estradiol levels are high). A dramatic change in endogenous hormone levels occurs during menopause when production of estradiol and progesterone falls to a very low level. Given the association between reproductive hormones and attractiveness, we assessed whether menopause affects women's facial appearance.
Methods: We created pre- and post-menopausal prototypes by respectively averaging 8 standardised photographs of pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women. Each woman provided saliva samples from which we assessed estradiol, progesterone and testosterone levels. Twenty new faces were then shape transformed towards each prototype. The pre- and post-menopausal versions of the same identity were paired and 20 men (M=51.5 years) were asked to choose the more attractive face of each pair.
Results: Overall, the pre-menopausal version was chosen more often (p = .034, one-sided). Interestingly, we found a significant preference for pre-menopausal faces particularly for men who have partners who already went through menopause (p = .004, two-sided). Men with pre-menopausal partners showed no preference for either face (p = .971).
Conclusions: We provide preliminary evidence that women may indeed become slightly less attractive after going through menopause, possibly due to reduced estradiol and progesterone production. However, this decrease in attractiveness is subtle and can only be detected by men who have experienced menopause in their own partners.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Lobmaier, Janek


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Wilhelm Klatt

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2017 16:47

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2017 16:47





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