a) Morphological masculinity. Examples of faces scoring low (left) and high (right) on this measure.
b) Rated masculinity. Examples of faces rated as low (left) and high (right) masculinity.
c) Digitally morphed masculinity. Example of a face morphed in the feminine (left) and masculine (right) direction.
The relationship between masculinity and attractiveness was assessed in two samples of male faces. Most previous research has assessed masculinity either with subjective ratings or with simple anatomical measures. Here, we used geometric morphometric techniques to assess facial masculinity, generating a morphological masculinity measure based on a discriminant function that correctly classified >96% faces as male or female. When assessed using this measure, there was no relationship between morphological masculinity and rated attractiveness. In contrast, skin colour – a fluctuating, condition-dependent cue – was a significant predictor of attractiveness.
2010 Does Masculinity Matter? The Contribution of Masculine Face Shape to Male Attractiveness in Humans. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13585. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013585