Several studies have examined potentially adaptive shifts and sources of individual differences in women's face preferences, but relatively few studies have looked for similar findings in men. Evidence suggests that men of higher mate-value may be better placed to compete for relationships with higher-quality women, and that contest competition may influence men's perceptions of dominance. Here, we looked at the effects of winning/losing in male-male competition on men's face preferences. Participants were randomly and unknowingly assigned to either win or lose the first-person shooter video game Counter-Strike: Source against an unseen male confederate who could control the outcome through game cheats. We found that, compared to men assigned to the losing condition, men assigned to the winning condition had significantly (p = 0.012) higher preferences for women's facial femininity. Results suggest that the outcomes of male-male competition may alter men's mate preferences.
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