Shifts in Female Facial Attractiveness during Pregnancy


Danel DP, Kalinowski K, Nowak-Szczepanska N, Ziomkiewicz-Wichary A, Apanasewicz A, Borysławski K, Kozieł S, Kornafel D & Fedurek P (2020) Shifts in Female Facial Attractiveness during Pregnancy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (14), Art. No.: 5176.

It has been proposed that women’s physical attractiveness is a cue to temporal changes in fertility. If this is the case, we should observe shifts in attractiveness during pregnancy—a unique physiological state of temporal infertility. The aim of this study was to examine how women’s facial attractiveness changes during the subsequent trimesters of pregnancy and how it compares to that of nonpregnant women. Sixty-six pictures of pregnant women (22 pictures per trimester) and 22 of nonpregnant women (a control group) were used to generate four composite portraits, which were subsequently assessed for facial attractiveness by 117 heterosexual men. The results show considerable differences between facial attractiveness ratings depending on the status and progress of pregnancy. Nonpregnant women were perceived as the most attractive, and the attractiveness scores of pregnant women decreased throughout the course of pregnancy. Our findings show that facial attractiveness can be influenced by pregnancy and that gestation, even at its early stages, affects facial attractiveness. Considerable changes in women’s physiology that occur during pregnancy may be responsible for the observed effects.

pregnancy; women; facial attractiveness; cues of fertility

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Volume 17, Issue 14

Publication date31/07/2020
Publication date online31/07/2020
Date accepted by journal13/07/2020
PublisherMDPI AG