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Description: Health perceptions are thought to play an important role in human mate preferences. Although many studies have investigated potential relationships between health ratings of faces and facial symmetry, prototypicality, and sexual dimorphism, findings have been mixed across studies. Consequently, we tested for potential relationships between health ratings of faces and objective measures of the symmetry, prototypicality, and sexual dimorphism of those faces’ shapes. When these shape characteristics were entered individually in separate regression models, we observed significant positive relationships between health ratings and both shape symmetry and prototypicality. By contrast, sexual dimorphism and health ratings were not significantly correlated. In regression models in which symmetry, prototypicality, and sexual dimorphism were entered simultaneously as predictors, prototypicality, but not symmetry, was significantly correlated with health ratings and sexual dimorphism predicted health ratings of female, but not male, faces. Collectively, these results suggest that the relationship between prototypicality and health ratings is likely to be particularly robust and highlight the importance of considering multiple aspects of face shape when investigating potential associations between face shape and health perceptions. This research was supported by ESRC grant ES/X000249/1 awarded to BCJ and a University of Strathclyde Global Research Award to KL. For the purpose of Open Access, the authors have applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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