Human Nature 20 (1):52-66 (2009)

James Chisholm
University of Western Australia
Early psychosocial stress (e.g., parental divorce, abuse) is conjectured to place individuals on a developmental trajectory leading to earlier initiation of sexual activity, earlier reproduction, and having more sex partners than those with less early psychosocial stress. But does it also affect an individual’s mate choice? The present study examined whether early psychosocial stress affects preferences and dislikes for opposite-sex faces varying in masculinity/femininity, a putative indicator of mate quality, in premenopausal women (58 with a natural cycle, 53 pill-users) and 196 men. No significant three-way interactions were found when women selected the most or least preferred face with participant group (natural cycle, pill), conception risk (low, high), and early psychosocial stress (low, high) as between-subjects factors. Early psychosocial stress did not affect men’s face preferences when selecting the most preferred face. However, men with high early psychosocial stress disliked masculine faces significantly more so than men with low early psychosocial stress. Overall it was concluded that early psychosocial stress does not affect mate choice with the exception that men with high early psychosocial stress were more likely to dislike masculine female faces. It was suggested that men with high early psychosocial stress may dislike masculine female faces because they have nothing to gain from associating with women with such faces
Keywords Femininity  Masculinity  Menstrual cycle
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-009-9057-5
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References found in this work BETA

Facial Attractiveness.Randy Thornhill & Steven W. Gangestad - 1999 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3 (12):452-460.
Human Facial Beauty.Randy Thornhill & Steven W. Gangestad - 1993 - Human Nature 4 (3):237-269.
Attachment and Time Preference.James S. Chisholm - 1999 - Human Nature 10 (1):51-83.
Father Absence and Age at Menarche.Sabine Hoier - 2003 - Human Nature 14 (3):209-233.

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