Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 305–312 | Cite as

Sociosexuality in Women and Preference for Facial Masculinization and Somatotype in Men

  • Meghan P. Provost
  • Christine Kormos
  • Graham Kosakoski
  • Vernon L. Quinsey

Sociosexual orientation reflects individual differences in openness to short-term sexual relationships. We predicted that women with less restricted sociosexuality would be differentially attracted to highly masculinized male faces and bodies. In 2 studies, we investigated preference for male masculinization as a function of female sociosexuality. In Study 1, 40 female university students rated the attractiveness of pictures of male faces and somatotypes differing in masculinization level. All women preferred the faces with average levels of masculinity and the mesomorph somatotype; however, women with less restricted sociosexuality found the faces of men more attractive in general and showed relatively greater preference for masculinized bodies than did women with more restricted sociosexuality. In Study 2, 56 women met with 2 equally attractive male confederates, 1 highly masculinized and 1 less masculinized, in a “speed dating” scenario. After each date, women indicated their interest in each man for short-term and long-term relationships via questionnaire. In this more naturalistic context, sociosexuality was related to an increased interest for the more highly masculinized man in the context of short-term dating. Female sociosexuality appears to be related to preferences for higher levels of male masculinization.


sociosexual orientation masculinity preference facial masculinization somatotypes. 



We would like to thank I. Penton-Voak for supplying us with the face stimuli, and the confederate men who helped with this study. Also, thanks to A. Clark, the Editor, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this article. We would also like to acknowledge the support of a SSHRC postgraduate scholarship to Meghan Provost.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meghan P. Provost
    • 1
    • 3
  • Christine Kormos
    • 2
  • Graham Kosakoski
    • 1
  • Vernon L. Quinsey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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