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Durham University

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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.

Author(s) from Durham


Previous research has suggested that an individual’s sociosexual orientation (i.e., their willingness to engage in sexual behavior outside of long-term relationships) may influence the qualities they find attractive in a potential mate. Results, however, have not been consistent and, moreover, studies have tended to draw from specific social groups. Here, we tested the relationship between sociosexuality and female’s preferences for masculinity in male faces, using a diverse population. We furthermore investigated impulsivity alongside sociosexuality, as this trait has been suggested as a “root” cause of variation in sexual behavior (Cross, 2010) and thus may better explain variation in mate choice. Results showed a significant association between increases in both sociosexuality and two subcomponents of impulsivity and greater preferences for masculine male features. Regression analysis suggested that a subcomponent of impulsivity, namely lack of planning, was the primary determinant of preferences. We discuss the implications these results have for our understanding of female attraction to masculine features.