Sunday, November 01, 2009

For Gay And Straight Men, Gauging Facial Attraction Appears To Operate Similarly

The pictures above are examples of masculinized (right) and feminized (left) versions of a male face. A new study from a researcher at Harvard University finds that gay men are most attracted to the most masculine-faced men, while straight men prefer the most feminine-faced women.

Physorg reports:
The findings suggest that regardless of sexual orientation, men’s brains are wired for attraction to sexually dimorphic faces — those with facial features that are most synonymous with gender.

The study is the first to examine the facial feature preferences of gay men and lesbian women. In this particular study, straight women preferred more masculine-faced men than lesbian women, while lesbians preferred slightly more masculine female faces than straight women or men.

Sexually dimorphic features in male faces include a broad jaw, broad forehead, and more pronounced brow ridge. A sexually dimorphic female face has a more tapered chin, larger lips, and a narrower forehead.

Although it is difficult to make substantial evolutionary claims from this study, the study supports the idea that male attraction operates differently from female attraction, regardless of sexual orientation. READ MORE