Does the interaction between partnership status and average progesterone level predict women’s preferences for facial masculinity?

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Description: Many studies have attempted to identify biological factors that reliably predict individual differences in women’s preferences for masculine male faces. Marcinkowska et al. (2018 Hormones & Behavior) recently reported that women’s (N=102) preferences for facial masculinity were predicted by the interaction between their relationship status (partnered versus unpartnered) and average progesterone level. Because previous findings for between-women differences in masculinity preferences have often not replicated well, we attempted to replicate Marcinkowska et al’s result in an open data set from another recent study that had not tested this hypothesis (Jones et al., 2018 Psychological Science). In this sample of 316 women, we found that facial masculinity preferences were predicted by the interaction between women’s relationship status and average progesterone level, consistent with Marcinkowska et al’s results. Together, these findings suggest that the combined effects of relationship status and average progesterone level predict facial masculinity preferences relatively reliably.

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