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Influence of indicators of masculinization on human attractiveness and sexuality

Grant number: 12/24951-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Vera Silvia Raad Bussab
Grantee:Kamila Janaina Pereira
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


There are variations between men and women regarding sexual strategies, from unrestricted to restricted strategies, depending on various contextual and developmental factors. Moreover, there are intersexual differences: men have a universal tendency to engage in casual sex more often than women, i.e., they tend to have a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation, which means they are more comfortable engaging in sex without love and commitment. From an evolutionary perspective, an explanatory theory might be related to the lower male investment in offspring care and, for that reason, bigger investment in competition and in search of mates. A proximal cause might be the level of prenatal and pubertal hormones which have masculinizing effects. However, there is ambiguous evidence to whether the level of masculinization might also be a reason for the intrasexual diversity in sociosexuality. Thus, the aim of this work is to analyze the individual variation regarding the level of masculinization/feminization on anatomical, cognitive, and self-reported indicators and the level of facial attractiveness rated by third-party raters for each sex in sociosexuality. Firstly, 50 men and 50 women in the 18 - 35 age range will answer a questionnaire including facial, bodily, vocal, and behavioral self-reported masculinization, on a Likert-type scale from "very feminine" to "very masculine"; the revised Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and the Vandenberg mental rotation test. We will also measure the right and left 2D:4D ratio, the female waist-to-hip ratio, and the male waist-to-shoulder ratio, and, to conclude, we will take front and side pictures of their faces. In a second stage, those photos will be rated by other 50 men and 50 women also in the 18 - 35 age range, on a Likert-type scale from "unattractive" to "very attractive". Men will evaluate female pictures, while women will evaluate male pictures. Therefore, the anatomical indicators of the hormonal levels will be the 2D:4D ratio, the waist-to-hip ratio, and the wait-to-shoulder ratio; the cognitive indicator will be the mental rotation test; and the psychological indicators will be the self-perceived assessment and the assessment of facial attractiveness by third-party raters. Then, those indicators will be correlated to the results of the sociosexuality. In conclusion, this project aims to assess possible correlations between unrestricted sociosexuality and prenatal and pubertal hormones which have masculinizing effects; therefore we will use anatomical, cognitive, and psychological indicators which have been shown to be related to hormonal changes. This project intend to contribute to the understanding of some mechanisms underlying the development and the adaptive function of men's and women's sexual strategies, it intend to try to make the ambiguous results clearer, and it intend to evaluate some evolutionary theories.

Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PEREIRA, Kamila Janaina. Influence of indicators of masculinization on human attractiveness and sexuality. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Psicologia São Paulo.

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