Women's faces and voices are cues to reproductive potential in industrial and forager societies

John R. Wheatley, Coren A. Apicella, Robert P. Burriss, Rodrigo A. Cárdenas, Drew H. Bailey, Lisa L.M. Welling, David A. Puts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Women's faces and voices may be cues to their reproductive potential. If so, then individual differences in indices of female fecundity and residual reproductive value, such as hormonal profiles, body composition, and age, should be associated with women's facial and vocal attractiveness to men. However, previous research on these associations is sparse, has rendered mixed results, and is limited to Western samples. The current study therefore explored relationships between correlates of reproductive capability (testosterone levels, age, and body mass index [BMI]) and facial and vocal attractiveness in women from industrial and foraging societies. Women's facial and vocal attractiveness was associated with each of these indicators in at least one of the two samples. The patterns of these associations suggest that women's faces and voices provide cues to both common and unique components of reproductive potential and help explain the evolution of men's mating preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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