Nadine Hugill, Bernhard Fink, Nick Neave, and Hanna Seydel (2009)

Men’s physical strength is associated with women’s perceptions of their dancing ability

Personality and Individual Differences, 47(5):527-530.

Prenatal and/or pubertal testosterone (T) directly influences male physical characteristics and behaviors that facilitate the achievement and maintenance of status and resources. In numerous animal species there is evidence that females have evolved preferences for signals of a male’s status as such signals may indicate male quality (in terms of health and reproductive success). In humans, it is known that women judge sex-typical (T-linked) physical characteristics of the face and body of men higher on attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance. Moreover, recent research indicates that women are also able to evaluate certain male facial characteristics that signal physical strength. Here we show that women’s perception of the attractiveness and assertiveness of men’s dancing, correlates with male handgrip strength (as a measure of muscular strength) after controlling for body weight. We conclude that men’s dances – in addition to faces and bodies – may be another proxy for male competitiveness, and could thus be used by women to evaluate male quality.