Women on the pill prefer men with less manly faces: study

A new UK study published this week finds that women who take birth control pills may prefer men with less masculine faces than those who don't.

A new British study finds that when young women are on the pill, they prefer men with less masculine faces.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow found that women were attracted to less masculine male faces after going on the pill, while their ratings of the attractiveness of female faces were unchanged, reports LiveScience on March 27.

For couples who first met when the woman was on the pill, the men were found to be less likely to have masculine faces than those who met when the woman was not taking the pill.

Prior studies have found that women prefer more masculine traits during the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle.

Published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, the latest study compared 85 couples who reported using the pill when they met to 85 couples who reported not using it when they met. Researchers took snapshots of the men's faces and had volunteers judge the manliness of each.

In a separate experiment, researchers tested young women ages 18 to 24 who took oral contraceptives against those who did not. Women were shown composite digital images of faces of men and women, which could be manipulated to look more or less feminine, by adjusting the cheekbones, jaw, and face width. Women tinkered with the photos to create faces that they found more attractive. Subjects were tested while not on the pill and again after taking the pill for three months.

Access the study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030645301300070X

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