Preference for facial self-resemblance and attractiveness in human mate choice

Ferenc Kocsor, Rita Rezneki, Szabolcs Juhász, T. Bereczkei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Empirical studies present considerably consistent data about human mate choice, from which we may infer that it tends to be homogamous for various traits. However, different experiments on facial resemblance led to contradictory results. To obtain additional data about the preference for self-resembling potential mates, male and female composite faces were modified in a manner to resemble subjects. Volunteers were asked to choose a potential partner from three images in different situations: self-resembling faces, non-resembling faces (both with the same degree of other-rated attractiveness), and images which were rated by others as more attractive than the self-resembling faces. Women did not show any preference for similarity; they preferred the most attractive male and female faces. In contrast, men preferred the most attractive images of the opposite sex to self-resembling faces and the self-resembling to non-resembling faces. The self-resemblance of same-sex faces was preferred by neither men nor women. Our results support the hypothesis that both facial similarity (i.e., cues of shared genes) and observer-independent features of attractiveness (i.e., honest signals of genetic quality) play an important role in males' mate choice. The lack of choice for self-resemblance on the female side in this particular study might reflect their more complex decision-making rules that are probably based on other cues beside visual stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1270
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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Cues
Mate
Resemblance
Attractiveness
Volunteers
Decision Making
Genes
Observer
Experiment
Visual Stimuli
Contradictory
Gene
Empirical Study

Keywords

  • Facial similarity
  • Homogamy
  • Sex differences in mate choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Preference for facial self-resemblance and attractiveness in human mate choice. / Kocsor, Ferenc; Rezneki, Rita; Juhász, Szabolcs; Bereczkei, T.

In: Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 40, No. 6, 12.2011, p. 1263-1270.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kocsor, Ferenc ; Rezneki, Rita ; Juhász, Szabolcs ; Bereczkei, T. / Preference for facial self-resemblance and attractiveness in human mate choice. In: Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2011 ; Vol. 40, No. 6. pp. 1263-1270.
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