The Facial Width-to-Height Ratio Predicts Sex Drive, Sociosexuality, and Intended Infidelity
Previous research has linked the facial width-to-height ratio (FWHR) to a host of psychological and behavioral characteristics, primarily in men. In two studies, we examined novel links between FWHR and sex drive. In Study 1, a sample of 145 undergraduate students revealed that FWHR positively predicted sex drive. There were no significant FWHR × sex interactions, suggesting that FWHR is linked to sexuality among both men and women. Study 2 replicated and extended these findings in a sample of 314 students collected from a different Canadian city, which again demonstrated links between the FWHR and sex drive (also in both men and women), as well as sociosexuality and intended infidelity (men only). Internal meta-analytic results confirm the link between FWHR and sex drive among both men and women. These results suggest that FWHR may be an important morphological index of human sexuality.
KeywordsFacial width-to-height ratio (FWHR) Sex drive Facial morphology Mating Sociosexual orientation Infidelity
Funding support came from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Research Chairs Program (Grant Nos. #950-203794; #950-229048).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included each study.
- Arnocky, S., Bird, B. M., & Perilloux, C. (2014). An evolutionary perspective on characteristics of physical attractiveness in humans. In A. Rennolds (Ed.), Psychology of interpersonal perception and relationships (pp. 115–155). New York, NY: NOVA Publishers.Google Scholar
- Baumeister, R. F., Catanese, K. R., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Is there a gender difference in strength of sex drive? Theoretical views, conceptual distinctions, and a review of relevant evidence. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 242–273. doi: 10.1207/S15327957PSPR0503_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bird, B. M., Cid, V., Geniole, S. N., Welker, K. M., Zilioli, S., Maestripieri, D., … Carré, J. M. (2016). Does facial width-to-height ratio map onto variability in men’s testosterone concentrations? Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 392–398. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.03.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carré, J. M., & McCormick, C. M. (2008). In your face: Facial metrics predict aggressive behaviour in the laboratory and in varsity and professional hockey players. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275, 2651–2656. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0873.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Cumming, G. (2013). Understanding the new statistics: Effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Dixson, B. J. W., Sulikowski, D., Gouda-Vossos, A., Rantala, M. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2016). The masculinity paradox: Facial masculinity and beardedness interact to determine women’s ratings of men’s facial attractiveness. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 29, 2311–2320. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12958.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Halpern, C. T., Udry, J. R., Campbell, B., Suchindran, C., & Mason, G. A. (1994). Testosterone and religiosity as predictors of sexual attitudes and activity among adolescent males: A biosocial model. Journal of Biosocial Science, 26, 217–234. doi: 10.1017/S0021932000021258.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (n.d.). Macro and script rules and frequently asked questions. Retrieved July 5, 2016 from http://www.afhayes.com/macrofaq.html.
- Jannini, E. A., Screponi, E., Carosa, E., Pepe, M., Giudice, F. L., Trimarchi, F., et al. (1999). Lack of sexual activity from erectile dysfunction is associated with a reversible reduction in serum testosterone. International Journal of Andrology, 22, 385–392. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2605.1999.00196.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kwan, M., Greenleaf, W. J., Mann, J., Crapo, L., & Davidson, J. M. (1983). The nature of androgen action on male sexuality: A combined laboratory-self-report study on hypogonadal men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 57, 557–562. doi: 10.1210/jcem-57-3-557.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lefevre, C. E., Lewis, G. J., Bates, T. C., Dzhelyova, M., Coetzee, V., Deary, I. J., & Perrett, D. I. (2012). No evidence for sexual dimorphism of facial width-to-height ratio in four large adult samples. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 623–627. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.03.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Penke, L., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2008). Beyond global sociosexual orientations: A more differentiated look at sociosexuality and its effects on courtship and romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1113–1135. doi: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.523.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Puts, D. A., Pope, L. E., Hill, A. K., Cardenas, R. A., Welling, L. L., Wheatley, J. R., & Breedlove, S. M. (2015). Fulfilling desire: Evidence for negative feedback between men’s testosterone, sociosexual psychology, and sexual partner number. Hormones and Behavior, 70, 14–21. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.01.006.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Simon, J., Braunstein, G., Nachtigall, L., Utian, W., Katz, M., Miller, S., et al. (2005). Testosterone patch increases sexual activity and desire in surgically menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90, 5226–5233. doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-1747.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wallen, K. (1995). The evolution of female sexual desire. In P. Abramson & S. Pinkerton (Eds.), Sexual nature, sexual culture (pp. 57–79). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Whitehouse, A. J., Gilani, S. Z., Shafait, F., Mian, A., Tan, D. W., Maybery, M. T., … Eastwood, P. (2015). Prenatal testosterone exposure is related to sexually dimorphic facial morphology in adulthood. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282, 20151351.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wilson, V., Lefevre, C. E., Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S. F., Paukner, A., & Bates, T. C. (2014). Personality and facial morphology: Links to assertiveness and neuroticism in capuchins (Sapajus [Cebus] apella). Personality and Individual Differences, 58, 89–94. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.10.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar