Carmen E Lefevre, Gary J Lewis, David I Perrett, and Lars Penke (2013)

Telling facial metrics: facial width is associated with testosterone levels in men

Evolution and Human Behavior, 34:273-279.

High facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) has been associated with a cluster of behavioural traits in men, including aggression and status-striving. This association between face structure and behaviour may be caused by testosterone. Here we investigated the relationship of both baseline and reactive testosterone levels to fWHR. In addition, we investigated the link between testosterone and three well-characterised sexually dimorphic facial metrics. Testosterone was measured in one sample of males (n = 185) before and after a speed-dating event. An additional sample provided only baseline testosterone measures (n = 92). fWHR was positively associated with testosterone reactions to potential mate exposure and marginally associated with baseline testosterone in Sample 1. We found a positive association with baseline testosterone and fWHR in Sample 2. In addition, face-width-to-lower-height ratio was positively associated with testosterone in both samples, suggesting that, in particular, facial width (scaled by two measures of facial height) is associated with testosterone. Importantly, our results also indicate that there is no association between adult testosterone and the sexual dimorphism of face shape. Thus, while our findings question the status of sexual dimorphism as a proxy measure of testosterone, they do provide evidence that testosterone is linked to fWHR and might underlie the relationship between fWHR and behaviour. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Testosterone; Face-width; Face width to height ratio; Masculinity; Sexual dimorphism; Speed dating; Face structure