Article

Hormonal effects on women's facial masculinity preferences: The influence of pregnancy, post-partum, and hormonal contraceptive use

Citation

Cobey KD, Little A & Roberts SC (2015) Hormonal effects on women's facial masculinity preferences: The influence of pregnancy, post-partum, and hormonal contraceptive use. Biological Psychology, 104, pp. 35-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.11.002

Abstract
Here, we investigate changes in women's facial masculinity preferences across pregnancy and the post-partum period. The majority of previous research demonstrating changes in women's masculinity preferences has examined the impact of hormonal variation across the female menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and the post-partum period, critical periods in women's reproductive life histories, are considerably more extreme than the variation that occurs across the menstrual cycle, suggesting that differences in preferences may also be displayed during these times. We find that women's preference for masculinity in men's faces, but not women's faces, decreases in the post-partum period relative to pregnancy. Furthermore, when compared to a sample of nulliparous control participants, post-partum participants showed different masculinity preferences compared with women who were using hormonal contraception, with the direction of this difference dependent upon the sex of the face assessed.

Keywords
Face perception; Sexual dimorphism; Pregnancy; Post-partum; Hormonal contraception

Journal
Biological Psychology: Volume 104

StatusPublished
FundersThe British Academy
Publication date31/01/2015
Date accepted by journal06/11/2014
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24877
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0301-0511