Mate-preference drives mate-choice: Men's self-rated masculinity predicts their female partner's preference for masculinity

Robert P. Burriss, Lisa L.M. Welling, David A. Puts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Women who rate their male partner as more masculine tend to prefer more masculine faces. However, it is unclear whether a preference for masculinity causes women to select masculine partners, or to perceive their current partner as more masculine. By incorporating multiple measures of male masculinity, we establish that women's preference for facial masculinity in short-term partners is correlated with their rating of their partner's masculinity and with their partner's self-rated masculinity, but with neither independent ratings of men's facial masculinity nor a facialmetric masculinity index. Facial masculinity preference in long-term partners is correlated with women's rating of partner masculinity, with a similar trend for men's self-rating. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that these relationships were independent of age, although only for short-term preference. We conclude that women who prefer masculine men tend to have more masculine partners, and therefore that mate-preferences do drive mate-choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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