Tessa Cappelle and Bernhard Fink

Changes in Women's Attractiveness Perception of Masculine Men's Dances across the Ovulatory Cycle: Preliminary Data

Evolutionary Psychology

Women's preferences for putative cues of genetic quality in men's voices, faces, bodies, and behavioral displays are stronger during the fertile phase of the ovulatory cycle. Here we show that ovulatory cycle-related changes in women's attractiveness perceptions of male features are also found with dance movements, especially those perceived as highly masculine. Dance movements of 79 British men were recorded with an optical motion-capture system whilst dancing to a basic rhythm. Virtual humanoid characters (avatars) were created and converted into 15-second video clips and rated by 37 women on masculinity. Another 23 women judged the attractiveness of the 10 dancers who scored highest and those 10 who scored lowest on masculinity once in days of high fertility and once in days of low fertility of their ovulatory cycle. High-masculine dancers were judged higher on attractiveness around ovulation than on other cycle days, whilst no such perceptual difference was found for low-masculine dancers. We suggest that women may gain fitness benefits from evolved preferences for masculinity cues they obtain from male dance movements.