Dr. Julia Stern (née Jünger)


Research Interests

  • menstrual cycle effects on mate preferences, motivations and behavior
  • neuroendocrinology (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol), hormonal correlates of intra- and interindividual differences
  • personality perception (and accuracy) at zero aquaintance, validity of personality judgments
  • personality and social relationships (esp. committed relationships)
  • reliability and validity of methods measuring individual differences
  • open science

Current Projects

  • hormonal influences on female mate preferences, personality, clothing style, behavior, attitudes, emotions, affect, physique and romantic relationships across the menstrual cycle
  • hormonal correlates of sexual desire, sociosexual orientation, Big 5 personality
  • relationship between personality, voices, physique, clothing style and their perception
  • personality and mating
  • reliability and validity of hormone measures
  • personality development during puberty

Short CV

  • 07/2020 - 03/2021 maternal leave
  • 09/2019 - 10/2019 research stay at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology.
  • since 09/2018: Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Goettingen, Department of Biological Personality Psychology (Prof. Dr. Penke)
  • 03/2018: research stay at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA. Department of Psychology
  • 09/2017 - 10/2017: research stay at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences
  • 10/2015 - 08/2018 PhD student at the University of Goettingen, Department of Biological Personality Psychology (Prof. Dr. Penke), Member of the Research Training Group 2070 "Understanding social relationships", PhD program "Behavior and Cognition"
  • 10/2013-09/2015 MSc Psychology, University of Goettingen
    MSc thesis: "Multiple Advisors in Judge-Advisor-Systems: How do we use aggregated advices?"
  • 10/2010-09/2013 BSc Psychology, University of Goettingen
    BSc thesis: "Subjective theories on motivation gains by scoring own goals in Soccer"


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Arslan, R.C., Driebe, J.C., Stern, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (in press). The evidence for good genes ovulatory shifts in Arslan et al. (2018) is mixed and uncertain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Stern, J., Schild, C., Jones, B.C., DeBruine, L.M., Hahn, A., Puts, D.A., Zettler, I., Kordsmeyer, T.L., Feinberg, D., Zamfir, D., Penke, L., & Arslan, R.C., (in press). Do voices carry valid information about a speaker's personality? Journal of Research in Personality. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2021.104092
  • Stern, J., Kordsmeyer, T. L., & Penke, L. (2021). A longitudinal evaluation of ovulatory cycle shifts in women's mate attraction and preferences. Hormones and Behavior, 128, 104916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2020.104916
  • Sundin, Z. W., Chopik, W. J., Welker, K. M., Ascigii, E., [...}, Stern, J., [...], & Tackett, J. L. (2021). Estimating the Association between Big Five Personality Traits, Testosterone, and Cortisol. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiologyhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-020-00159-9
  • Schild, C., Stern, J., Penke, L., & Zettler, I. (2021). Voice Pitch – a valid indicator of one’s unfaithfulness in committed relationships? Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-020-00154-0
  • Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., Flake, J. K., […], Stern, J. […], Chartier, C.R. (2021). To which world regions does the valence-dominance model of social perception apply? Nature Human Behavior, 5, 159-169. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-01007-2
  • Stern, J., Karastoyanova, K., Kandrik, M., Torrance, J.S., Hahn, A.C., Holzleitner, I., DeBruine, L.M., & Jones, B.C. (2020). Are sexual desire and sociosexual orientation related to men's salivary steroid hormones? Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology6, 447-466. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-020-00148-y
  • Kordsmeyer, T. L., Thies, Y. T. K., Ekrami, O., Stern, J., Schild, C., Spoiala, C., Claes, P., Van Dongen, S., & Penke, L. (2020). No evidence for an association between facial fluctuating asymmetry and vocal attractiveness in men and women. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2, e35. https://doi.org/10.1017/ehs.2020.36
  • Stern, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2020). Probing ovulatory cycle shifts in women's preferences for men's behaviors. Psychological Science, 31, 424-436. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619882022
  • Hueffmeier, J., Stern, J., & Schultze, T. (2020). When Mistakes Affecting One's Own Group Result in Compensation: Evidence of a Compensatory Own Goal Effect. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 48, 101633.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101633
  • Schild, C.*, Stern, J.*, & Zettler, I. (2020).  Linking men‘s voice pitch to actual and perceived trustworthiness across domains. Behavioral Ecology, 31164-175.  https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz173

*Christoph Schild and Julia Stern share the first authorship

  • Stern, J., Arslan, R. C., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2019). No robust evidence for cycle shifts in preferences for men's bodies in a multiverse analysis: Commentary on Gangestad, Dinh, Grebe, Del Giudice and Emery Thompson (2019). Evolution and Human Behavior, 40517-525.   Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2019.08.005
  • Kordsmeyer, T.L., Stern, J., & Penke, L. (2019). 3D anthropometric assessment and perception of male body morphology in relation to physical strength. American Journal of Human Biology31, e23276. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23276
  • Kordsmeyer, T. L., Freund, D., Rodrigues Pita, S., Jünger, J., & Penke, L. (2019). Further evidence that facial width-to-height ratio and global facial masculinity are not positively associated with testosterone levels. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 5, 117-130. Doi: 10.1007/s40750-018-0105-4
  • Jünger, J., Motta-Mena, N. V., Cardenas, R., Bailey, D., Rosenfield, K. A., Schild, C., Penke, L.*, & Puts, D. A.*  (2018). Do women's preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle? Hormones and Behavior, 106, 122-134. Doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.10.008
  • Jünger, J., Kordsmeyer, T., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Fertile women evaluate male bodies as more attractive, regardless of masculinity. Evolution and Human Behavior39, 412-423. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.03.007

*Lars Penke and David A. Puts share the last authorship.

Peer-Reviewed Registered Reports Stage 1 (Accepted in Principle)

  • Schild, C., Feinberg, D., Puts, D. A., Jünger, J., Fasolt, V., [...], & Jones, B. C. (2019). Are attractive female voices really best characterized by feminine fundamental and formant frequencies? Evolution and Human BehaviorPreprint at: https://psyarxiv.com/3qx4j/

Book chapters

  • Stern, J. & Penke, L. (in press). Ovulatory cycle effects and hormonal influences on women’s mating psychology. In D. M. Buss & P. Durkee (Eds.), Handbook of Human Mating. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Gerlach, T. M. & Jünger, J. (2019). Ideal partner preferences. In J. J. Ponzetti Jr. (Ed.), Macmillan encyclopedia of families, marriages, and intimate relationships. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference. 


  • Jaeger, B., Sleegers, W.A., Stern, J., Penke, L., & Jones, A. L. (2020). The accuracy and meta-accuracy of personality impressions from faces. Preprint on Psyarxiv. https://https://psyarxiv.com/4x7d8

Invited Workshops and Talks

  • Stern, J. (2021). Women's ovulatory cycle, hormones, and mating: Evaluating the current evidence. Online talk at the colloquium of the Toronto Relationships Interest Group, University of Toronto, CA (27.04.2021).
  • Stern, J. (2021). How to do Open Science: Introduction, helpful tips and experiences. Online Workshop at the university hospital Heidelberg (04.03.2021).
  • Stern, J. (2019). Psychological changes across women’s menstrual cycle: Evaluating the current evidence. Talk held at the Department of Psychology Colloquium at the University of Copenhagen (24.10.2019).
  • Stern, J., & Penke, L. (2019). How to do Open Science. Preconference at the 31st Conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), Boston, USA, 29.05. –01.06.2019.
  • Jünger, J., & Schultze, T. (2017). The Why and How of Open Science. Talk at the workshop "scientific integrity and the responsible conduct of research" for doctoral students at the German Primate Center (DPZ). (Göttingen, DE, 14.11.2017).

Professional presentations

  • Stern, J., Schild, C., & Zettler, I. (2019). Men’s actual and perceived trustworthiness across domains: what can voice pitch tell us? Talk at the 15th congress of the Fachgruppe Differential Psychology, Personality Psychology and Psychological Diagnostic (DPPD), (Dresden, DE, 16.09.-18.09.2019).
  • Stern, J., Rudolph, S., & Penke, L. (2019). Probing ovulatory cycle shifts in women's make-up and clothing style. Talk at the 31st Conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), Boston, USA, 29.05. –01.06.2019.
  • Jünger, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2019). Hormonal influences on personality perception and mate preferences across women's ovulatory cycle. Talk at the 3rd World Conference on Personality (WCP), Hanoi, VNM, 02.04. - 06.04.2019
  • Jünger, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2018). Verändern sich Partnerwahlpräferenzen über den Menstruationszyklus? Talk at the 51.  congress of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPS), Frankfurt, DE, 17.09. – 20.09.2018
  • Jünger, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2018). Do women’s mate preferences change across the menstrual cycle? Talk at the 19th European Conference on Personality (ECP), Zadar, HR, 17.07. –21.07.2018.
  • Jünger, J., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2018). Do women’s mate preferences change across the menstrual cycle? Talk at the 30th Conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), Amsterdam, NL, 04.07. –07.07.2018.

  • Jünger, J., Meier, V.V., Kordsmeyer, T., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2017). Wer kommt als Sexualpartner in Frage? Die Fähigkeit Soziosexualität einzuschätzen und ihr Zusammenhang mit romantischer Anziehung. Talk at the 14th congress of the Fachgruppe Differential Psychology, Personality Psychology and Psychological Diagnostic (DPPD), (Munich, DE, 04.09.-06.09.2017).
  • Jünger, J., Kordsmeyer, T., & Penke, L. (2017). Menstrual cycle shifts in female mate preferences for male body masculinity: An estrus effect instead of good genes sexual selection?. Talk at the 29th annual conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Boise, ID, USA, May 31 - June 3, 2017.
  • Jünger, J., Arslan, R.C., Schilling, K., Gerlach, T.M., & Penke, L. (2016). Zykluseffekte auf sexuelle Motivation und Sexualverhalten bei Frauen: Eine große, präregistrierte StudieTalk at the 50th congress of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (Leipzig, DE, 18.-22.09.2016).

Ad-hoc Reviewer