The pattern of facial preferences in boys at early adolescence

Open access

The pattern of facial preferences in boys at early adolescence

Despite numerous studies on perception of facial attractiveness in adults, preferences in adolescents remain poorly characterized. The aim of present study was to explore facial preferences in boys at early adolescence (11-13 years old) and compare them with preferences of men. All males evaluated the same 30 female faces, which were also assessed by independent judges for several perceived features. Regardless of age, boys assessed attractiveness much the same as men, and the strengths of their preferences for specific facial features were similar to those of men. The pubertal maturity (calculated on the basis of the presence of pubic hair at two sessions spaced ten months apart) correlated positively with strength of preference for several facial features (specifically: maturity, sexiness, marital appearance and friendly appearance). This remained true even after controlling for age and psychosexual development, suggesting that sex hormones are involved in the development of facial preferences in pubescent boys.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Blom G. 1958 Statistical estimates and transformed beta-variables John Wiley & Sons Inc New York

  • Burt D. M. R. W. Kentridge J. M. M. Good D. I. Perrett B. P. Tiddeman L. G. Boothroyd 2007 Q-cgi: new techniques to assess variation in perception applied to facial attractiveness Proc. R. Soc. B 274 2779-84

  • Buss D. 1999 Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind Allyn & Bacon Boston

  • Buss D. M. D. P. Schmitt 1993 Sexual strategies theory: An evolutionary perspective on human mating Psychol. Rev. 100 204-32

  • Cooper P. A. S. S. Geldart C. J. Mondloch D. Maurer 2006 Developmental changes in perceptions of attractiveness: A role of experience? Dev. Sci. 9 530-43

  • Chung M. S. 1997 Face recognition: Effects of age of subjects and age of stimulus faces Korean J. Dev. Psychol. 10 167-76

  • Diamond R. S. Carey K. J. Back 1983 Genetic influences on the development of spatial skills during early adolescence Cognition 13 167-85

  • Flin R. H. 1985 Development of face recognition: An encoding switch? Br. J. Psychol. 76 123-34

  • Gangestad S. W. G. J. Scheyd 2005 The evolution of human physical attractiveness Ann. Rev. Anthropol. 34 523-48

  • Geldart S. D. Maurer K. Carney 1999 Effects of eye size on adults' aesthetic ratings of faces and 5-month-olds' looking times Perception 28 361-74

  • Halpern C. T. J. R. Udry B. Campbell C. Suchindran G. A. Mason 1994 Testosterone and religiosity as predictors of sexual attitudes and activity among adolescent males: A biosocial model J. Biosoc. Sci. 26 217-34

  • Halpern C. T. J. R. Udry C. Suchindran 1998 Monthly measures of salivary testosterone predict sexual activity in adolescent males Arch. Sex. Behav. 27 445-65

  • Herdt G. N. McClintock 2000 The magical age of 10 Arch. Sex. Behav. 29 587-606

  • Itier R. J. M. J. Taylor 2004 Face inversion and contrast-reversal effects across development: in contrast to the expertise theory Dev. Sci. 7 246-60

  • Janczewski Z. L. Bablok 1985 Semen characteristics in pubertal boys. I. Semen quality after first ejaculation Arch. Androl. 15 199-205

  • Janssen D. F. 2007 First stirrings: Cultural notes on orgasm ejaculation and wet dreams J. Sex Res. 44 122-34

  • Jones B. C. L. M. DeBruine D. I. Perrett A. C. Little D. R. Feinberg M. J. Law Smith 2008 Effects of menstrual cycle phase on face preferences Arch. Sex. Behav. 37 78-84

  • Jones B. C. A. C. Little I. S. Penton-Voak B. P. Tiddeman D. M. Burt D. I. Perrett 2001 Facial symmetry and judgements of apparent health. Support for a "good genes" explanation of the attractiveness-symmetry relationship Evol. Hum. Behav. 22 417-29

  • Kissler J. K. H. Bäuml 2000 Effects of the beholder's age on the perception of facial attractiveness. Acta Psychol 104 145-66

  • Kościński K. 2007 Facial attractiveness: General patterns of facial preferences Anthropol. Rev. 70 45-79

  • Kościński K. 2008 Facial attractiveness: Variation adaptiveness and consequences of facial preferences Anthropol. Rev. 71 77-105

  • Kościński K. in press Life history of female preferences for male faces: A comparison of pubescent girls nonpregnant and pregnant young women and middle-aged women Hum. Nat.

  • Langlois J. H. L. Kalakanis A. J. Rubenstein A. Larson M. Hallam M. Smoot 2000 Maxims or myths of beauty Psychol. Bull. 126 390-423

  • Langlois J. H. L. A. Roggman R. J. Casey J. M. Ritter L. A. Rieser-Danner V. Y. Jenkins 1987 Infant preferences for attractive face: Rudiments of a stereotype? Dev. Psychol. 23 363-69

  • Lebrun C. E. I. Y. T. van der Schouw F. H. De Jong H. A. P. Pols D. E. Grobbee S. W. J. Lamberts 2005 Endogenous oestrogens are related to cognition in healthy elderly women Clin. Endocrinol. 63 50-55

  • Little A. C. T. K. Saxton S. C. Roberts B. C. Jones L. M. DeBruine et al. 2010 Women's preferences for masculinity in male faces are highest during reproductive age range and lower around puberty and postmenopause Psychoneuroendocrinology 35 912-920

  • Marshall W. A. 1978 Puberty [in:] Human growth vol. 1 F. Falkner J. M. Tanner (eds.) Plenum Press New York pp. 141-181

  • McGivern R. F. J. Andersen D. Byrd K. L. Mutter J. Reilly 2002 Cognitive efficiency on a match to sample task decreases at the onset of puberty in children Brain Cogn. 50 73-89

  • Mehu M. A. C. Little R. I. M. Dunbar 2007 Duchenne smiles and the perception of generosity and sociability in faces J. Evol. Psychol. 5 183-96

  • Mondloch C. J. R. Le Grand D. Maurer 2002 Configural face processing develops more slowly than featural face processing Perception 31 553-66

  • Nottelmann E. D. E. J. Susman L. D. Dorn G. Inoff-Germain D. L. Loriaux et al. 1987 Developmental processes in early adolescence. Relations among chronologic age pubertal stage height weight and serum levels of gonadotropins sex steroids and adrenal androgens J. Adolesc. Health Care 8 246-60

  • Ogasawara H. 2007 Asymptotic expansion and asymptotic robustness of the normal-theory estimators in the random regression model J. Stat. Comp. Simul. 77 821-38

  • Penton-Voak I. S. A. C. Little B. C. Jones D. M. Burt B. P. Tiddeman D. I. Perrett 2003 Female condition influences preferences for sexual dimorphism in faces of male humans (Homo sapiens) J. Comp. Psychol. 117 264-71

  • Regan P. C. 1999 Hormonal correlates and causes of sexual desire: A review Can. J. Hum. Sex. 8 1-16

  • Rhodes G. 2006 The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty Ann. Rev. Psychol. 57 199-226

  • Roney J. R. K. N. Hanson K. M. Durante D. Maestripieri 2006 Reading men's faces: Women's mate attractiveness judgments track men's testosterone and interest in infants Proc. R. Soc. B 273 2169-75

  • Roney J. R. Z. L. Simmons 2008 Women's estradiol predicts preference for facial cues of men's testosterone Horm. Behav. 53 14-19

  • Rubenstein A. J. L. Kalakanis J. H. Langlois 1999 Infant preferences for attractive faces: A cognitive explanation Dev. Psychol. 35 848-55

  • Saxton T. K. P. G. Cary S. C. Roberts 2006 Vocal and facial attractiveness judgments of children adolescents and adults: The ontogeny of mate choice Ethology 112 1179-85

  • Saxton T. K. L. M. DeBruine B. C. Jones A. C. Little S. C. Roberts 2009a Face and voice attractiveness judgments change during adolescence Evol. Hum. Behav. 30 398-408

  • Saxton T. K. D. Kohoutova S. C. Roberts B. C. Jones L. M. DeBruine J. Havlicek 2010 Age puberty and attractiveness judgments in adolescents Pers. Indiv. Differ. 49 857-62

  • Saxton T. K. A. C. Little L. M. DeBruine B. C. Jones S. C. Roberts 2009b Adolescents' preferences for sexual dimorphism are influenced by relative exposure to male and female faces Pers. Indiv. Differ. 47 864-68

  • Scarbrough P. S. V. S. Johnston 2005 Individual differences in women's facial preferences as a function of digit ratio and mental rotation ability Evol. Hum. Behav. 26 509-26

  • Silver N. C. W. P. Dunlap 1987 Averaging correlation coefficients: Should Fisher's z transformation be used? J. Appl. Psychol. 72 146-48

  • Sisk C. L. J. L. Zehr 2005 Pubertal hormones organize the adolescent brain and behavior Front. Neuroendocrinol. 26 163-74

  • Slater A. C. von der Schulenburg E. Brown M. Badenoch G. Butterworth et al. 1998 Newborn infants prefer attractive faces Infant Behav. Dev. 21 345-54

  • Symons D. 1995 Beauty is in the adaptation of the beholder: The evolutionary psychology of human female sexual attractiveness [in:] Sexual nature/Sexual culture P. R. Abramson S. D. Pinkerton (eds.) University of Chicago Press Chicago pp. 80-118

  • Tanner J. M. 1962 Growth at adolescence Blackwell Oxford

  • Walton G. E. T. G. R. Bower 1993 Newborns form "prototypes" in less than 1 minute Psychol. Sci. 4 203-5

  • Welling L. L. M. B. C. Jones L. M. DeBruine C. A. Conway M. J. Law Smith et al. 2007 Raised salivary testosterone in women is associated with increased attraction to masculine faces Horm. Behav. 52 156-61

  • Welling L. L. M. B. C. Jones L. M. DeBruine F. G. Smith D. R. Feinberg et al. 2008 Men report stronger attraction to femininity in women's faces when their testosterone levels are high Horm. Behav. 54 703-8

  • Williams C. L. 1998 Estrogen effects on cognition across the lifespan Horm. Behav. 34 80-84

  • Winter J. S. D. 1978 Prepubertal and pubertal endocrinology [in:] Human growth vol. 1 F. Falkner J. M. Tanner (eds.) Plenum Press New York pp. 183-213

  • Zajonc R. B. 2001 Mere exposure: A gateway to the subliminal Curr. Dir. Psychol. Sci. 10 224-28

Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.22
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.472

Gesamte Zeit Letztes Jahr Letzte 30 Tage
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 243 76 0
PDF Downloads 88 41 1