Circum-menopausal effects on women's judgements of facial attractiveness
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The marked change in a woman's hormonal profile that happens at menopause affects many aspects of behaviour. We investigated circum-menopausal women's preferences for femininity in the faces of young adult men and women. Post-menopausal women demonstrated stronger preferences for femininity in same-sex faces than pre-menopausal women did. This effect was independent of possible effects of participant's age and suggests that dislike of feminine (i.e. attractive) same-sex competitors decreases as fertility decreases. No significant difference between pre- and post-menopausal women was observed for men's faces, potentially because circum-menopausal women do not necessarily view young adult men as potential mates. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate circum-menopausal changes in women's face preferences.
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