Facial masculinity is only weakly correlated with handgrip strength in young adult women

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Description: Responses to facial cues of strength are thought to play an important role in human social interaction. Although many researchers have proposed that sexually dimorphic facial morphology is reliably correlated with physical strength, evidence for this hypothesis is somewhat mixed. Moreover, to date, only one study has investigated the putative relationship between facial masculinity and physical strength in women. Consequently, we tested for correlations between handgrip strength and two objective measures of face-shape masculinity in a sample of 531 young adult women. Our analyses revealed that handgrip strength is, at best, only weakly correlated with facial masculinity in women. There was a weak significant association between handgrip strength and one measure of women’s facial masculinity. The relationship between handgrip strength and our other measure of women’s facial masculinity was not significant. Together, these results do not support the hypothesis that face-shape masculinity is an important cue of physical strength, at least in women.

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