Sexual dimorphism and attractiveness in Asian and White faces

Ian D. Stephen*, Darby L. H. Salter, Kok Wei Tan, Chrystalle B. Y. Tan, Richard J. Stevenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marriages between White men and Asian women are over twice as frequent as those between White women and Asian men. Recent research has proposed that this imbalance may be explained by the finding that, on average, White men are perceived as more attractive than Asian men, and Asian women are perceived as more attractive than White women, possibly because Asian faces are perceived as more feminine than White faces. Here, we explore whether Asian faces are perceived as more feminine than White faces. Thirty-five Malaysian Chinese (20 male) and 30 Australian White (12 male) participants manipulated 100 face photographs (50 Asian; 50 White; half male) on a masculinity/femininity axis to optimize attractive appearance. As predicted, White women’s faces were increased more in femininity than Asian women’s faces, and White men’s faces were feminized more than Asian men’s faces to optimize attractiveness. These findings suggest that White faces are perceived as more masculine than Asian faces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalVisual Cognition
Volume26
Issue number6
Early online date6 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • sexual dimorphism
  • facial attractiveness
  • masculinity

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