Facial width-to-height ratio predicts self-reported dominance and aggression in males and females, but a measure of masculinity does not

Lefevre, C.E, Etchells, P.J, Howell, E.C, Clark, A.P and Penton-Voak, I.S (2014) 'Facial width-to-height ratio predicts self-reported dominance and aggression in males and females, but a measure of masculinity does not.' Biology Letters, 10 (10). e0729. ISSN 1744-9561

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2014.0729

Abstract

Recently, associations between facial structure and aggressive behaviour have been reported. Specifically, the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is thought to link to aggression, although it is unclear whether this association is related to a specific dimension of aggression, or to a more generalized concept of dominance behaviour. Similarly, an association has been proposed between facial masculinity and dominant and aggressive behaviour, but, to date, this has not been formally tested. Because masculinity and fWHR are negatively correlated, it is unlikely that both signal similar behaviours. Here, we thus tested these associations and show that: (i) fWHR is related to both self-reported dominance and aggression; (ii) physical aggression, verbal aggression and anger, but not hostility are associated with fWHR; (iii) there is no evidence for a sex difference in associations between fWHR and aggression; and (iv) the facial masculinity index does not predict dominance or aggression. Taken together, these results indicate that fWHR, but not a measure of facial masculinity, cues dominance and specific types of aggression in both sexes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: facial morphology, facial width-to-height ratio, masculinity, aggression, dominance
Divisions: School of Science
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 17:59
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2020 11:54
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