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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Lynda Boothroyd, BA MSc PhD

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Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43289
Room number: L72

Contact Dr Lynda Boothroyd


Villages in the Pearl Lagoon Basin have increasing access to global media

Dr Lynda Boothroyd is Associate Professor of Psychology, and chairs the Social, Evolutionary and Affective Psychology research group at Durham University. She has spent 16 years researching both human lifehistory theory and interpersonal attraction with a particular interest in facial masculinity. She has recently focused on body ideals in rural Nicaragua alongside experimental work both in the laboratory and in the field on the impacts of visual experience on body size preferences. She has a multidisciplinary approach to her research, incorporating perspectives from Evolutionary Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology and Biological Anthropology, and has incorporated a mixed-methods component in her current work. In addition, she is a trainer for ‘Succeed’– the UK edition of an international preventative body image programme – and has trained students at Durham and Newcastle in being peer leaders on this programme.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Attraction
  • Body size preferences
  • Evolutionary Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Facial masculinity
  • Father absence theory

Teaching Areas

  • Classic Papers in Applied Psychology

  • Human Evolutionary Psychology

  • Introduction to Psychology 2 (Social Psychology)

  • Social and Developmental Psychology

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Thornborrow, T., Jucker, J.-L., Boothroyd, L.G. & Tovée, M.J. (2018). Investigating the link between television viewing and men’s preferences for female body size and shape in rural Nicaragua. Evolution and Human Behavior 39(5): 538-546.
  • Kuay, Hue San, Tiffin, Paul A., Boothroyd, Lynda G., Towl, Graham J. & Centifanti, Luna C. M. (2017). A New Trait-Based Model of Child-to-Parent Aggression. Adolescent Research Review 2(3): 199-211.
  • Boothroyd, Lynda G. & Cross, Catharine P. (2017). Father absence and gendered traits in sons and daughters. PLOS ONE 12(7): e0179954.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Gray, A.W., Headland, T.W., Uehara, R.T., Waynforth, D., Burt, D.M. & Pound, N. (2017). Male facial appearance and offspring mortality in two traditional societies. PLoS One 12(1): e0169181.
  • Jucker, J. L., Thornborrow, T., Beierholm, U., Burt, D. M., Barton, R. A., Evans, E. H., Jamieson, M. & Boothroyd, L. G. (2017). Nutritional status and the influence of TV consumption on female body size ideals in populations recently exposed to the media. Scientific Reports 7(1): 8438.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Jucker, J.L., Thornborrow, T., Jamieson, M.A., Burt, D.M., Barton, R.A., Evans, E.H. & Tovée, M. J. (2016). Television exposure predicts body size ideals in rural Nicaragua. British Journal of Psychology 107(4): 752-767.
  • Boothroyd, L.G. & Cross, C.P. (2016). The Impact of Parenthood on Physical Aggression: Evidence from criminal data. Aggressive Behavior 42(6): 577-584.
  • Vukovic, J., Boothroyd, L.G., Meins, E. & Burt, D.M. (2015). Concurrent parent–child relationship quality is associated with an imprinting-like effect in children’s facial preferences. Evolution and Human Behavior 36(4): 331-336.
  • Evans, EH, Boothroyd, LG, Muscariello, E, Stephan, BCM Nasti, G, Colantuoni, A & Siervo, M (2015). Lower weight loss expectations and healthier eating attitudes in older overweight and obese women attempting weight loss. Clinical Obesity 5(3): 136.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Meins, E., Vukovic, J. & Burt, D.M. (2014). Developmental changes in children's facial preferences. Evolution and Human Behavior 35(5): 376-383.
  • Mo, J., Cheung, Kate W. K., Gledhill, Lucinda J., Pollet, Thomas V., Boothroyd, Lynda G. & Tovée, Martin J. (2014). Perceptions of Female Body Size and Shape in China, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Cross-Cultural Research 48(1): 78-103.
  • Boothroyd, Lynda G. & Brewer, Gayle (2014). Self-Reported Impulsivity, Rather than Sociosexuality, Predicts Women’s Preferences for Masculine Features in Male Faces. Archives of Sexual Behavior 43(5): 983-988.
  • Evans, E.H., Tovee, M.T., Boothroyd, L.G. & Drewett, R. (2013). Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes in 7 to 11-year-old girls: testing a sociocultural model. Body Image 10(1): 8-15.
  • Scott, I.M.L., Clark, A.P., Boothroyd, L.G. & Penton-Voak, I.S. (2013). Do men’s faces really signal heritable immunocompetence? Behavioral Ecology 24(3): 579-589.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Craig, P.S., Crossman, R.J. & Perrett, D.I. (2013). Father absence and age at first birth in a western sample. American Journal of Human Biology 25(3): 366–369.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Scott, I., Gray, A.W., Coombes, C. & Pound, N. (2013). Male Facial Masculinity as a Cue to Health Outcomes. Evolutionary Psychology 11(5): 1044-1058.
  • Gray, Alan W. & Boothroyd, Lynda G. (2012). Female facial appearance and health. Evolutionary Psychology 10(1): 66-77
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Tovée, M.T. & Pollett, T. (2012). Visual Diet versus Associative Learning as Mechanisms of Change in Body Size Preferences. PLoS ONE 7(11): e48691.
  • Boothroyd, L. G., Cross, C. P., Gray, A. W., Coombes, C. & Gregson-Curtis, K. (2011). Perceiving the facial correlates of sociosexuality: Further evidence. Personality and Individual Differences 50(3): 422-425.
  • Re, D.E., Coetzee, V., Xiao, D.K., Buls, D., Tiddeman, B.P., Boothroyd, L.G. & Perrett, D.I. (2011). Viewing heavy bodies enhances preferences for facial adiposity. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 9: 295-308
  • Jones, B.C., Boothroyd, L.G., Feinberg, D.R. & DeBruine, L. (2010). Age at menarche predicts individual differences in women’s preferences for masculinized male voices in adulthood. Personality and Individual Differences 48(7): 860-863.
  • Boothroyd, Lynda G, Lawson, Jamie F & Burt, D Michael (2009). Testing immuncompetence explanations of male facial masculinity. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 7(1): 65-81.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Jones, B.C., Burt, D.M., DeBruine, L.M. & Perrett, D.I. (2008). Facial correlates of sociosexuality. Evolution & Human Behavior 29(3): 211-218.
  • Boothroyd, L.G. & Perrett, D.I. (2008). Father absence, parent-daughter relationships and partner preferences. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 6(3): 187-205.
  • Pawlowski, B., Boothroyd, L.G., Perrett, D.I. & Kluska, S. (2008). Is female attractiveness related to final reproductive success? Collegium Antropologicum 32(2): 457-460
  • Wiszewska, A., Pawlowski, B. & Boothroyd, L.G. (2007). Father-daughter relationship as a moderator of sexual imprinting: a facialmetric study. Evolution & Human Behavior 28(4): 248-252
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Jones, B.C., Burt, D.M. & Perrett, D.I. (2007). Partner characteristics associated with masculinity, health and maturity in male faces. Personality and Individual Differences 43(5): 1161-1173.
  • DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., Boothroyd, L. G., Perrett, D. I., Penton-Voak, I. S., Cooper, P. A., Penke, L., Feinberg, D. R. & Tiddeman, B. P. (2006). Correlated preferences for facial masculinity and ideal or actual partner's masculinity. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B, Biological sciences 273(1592): 1355-1360.
  • Boothroyd, L.G. & Perrett, D.I. (2006). Facial and bodily correlates of family background. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 273(1599): 2375-2380.
  • Law-Smith, M. J., Perrett, D. I., Jones, B. C., Cornwell, R. E., Moore, F. R., Feinberg, D. R., Boothroyd, L. G., Durrani, S. J., Stirrat, M. R., Whiten, S., Pitman, R. M. & Hillier, S. G. (2006). Facial appearance is a cue to oestrogen levels in women. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological sciences 273(1583): 135-140.
  • Jones, B.C., Little, A.C., Boothroyd, L., DeBruine, L.M., Feinberg, D.R., Smith, M.J. Law, Cornwell, R.E., Moore, F.R. & Perrett, D.I. (2005). Commitment to relationships and preferences for femininity and apparent health in faces are strongest on days of the menstrual cycle when progesterone level is high. Hormones and Behavior 48(3): 283-290.
  • Boothroyd, L.G., Jones, B.C., Burt, D. M., Cornwell, R. E., Little, A. C., Tiddeman, B.P. & Perrett, D.I. (2005). Facial masculinity is related to perceived age, but not perceived health. Evolution and Human Behavior 26(5): 417-431.
  • Jones, B. C., Perrett, D. I., Little, A. C., Boothroyd, L., Cornwell, R. E., Feinberg, D. R., Tiddeman, B. P., Whiten, S., Pitman, R. M., Hillier, S. G., Burt, D. M., Stirrat, M. R., Smith, M. J. L. & Moore, F. R. (2005). Menstrual cycle, pregnancy and oral contraceptive use alter attraction to apparent health in faces. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 272(1561): 347-354.
  • Feinberg, D.R., Jones, B.C., DeBruine, L. M., Moore, F.R., Law Smith, M.J., Cornwell, R. E., Tiddeman, B.P., Boothroyd, L.G. & Perrett, D.I. (2005). The voice and face of woman: one ornament that signals quality? Evolution and Human Behavior 26(5): 398-408.
  • Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., Boothroyd, L., Feinberg, D. R., Cornwell, R. E., DeBruine, L. M., Roberts, S. C., Penton-Voak, I. S., Law-Smith, M. J., Moore, F. R., Davis, H. P. & Perrett, D. I. (2005). Women's physical and psychological condition independently predict their preference for apparent health in faces. Evolution and Human Behavior 26(6): 451-457.
  • Cornwell, R. E., Boothroyd, L., Burt, D. M., Feinberg, D. R., Jones, B. C., Little, A. C., Pitman, R., Whiten, S. & Perrett, D. I. (2004). Concordant preferences for opposite-sex signals? Human pheromones and facial characteristics. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B, Biological sciences 271(1539): 635-640.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Evolution: The way in which evolution has shaped what kind of faces we are attracted to.
  • Perception / attractiveness: The way in which evolution has shaped what kind of faces we are attracted to.
  • Perception / attractiveness: The development of facial preferences in children and adults
  • Evolution: Family influences of puberty and sexual development.
  • Psychology: Family influences of puberty and sexual development.
  • Psychology: The relationship bewteen hormones (such as testosterone), behaviour and physical traits in men and women
  • Psychology: Cross-cultural influences on preferences for body size