Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Biol Sci. 2013 Jan 22;280(1751):20122495. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2495.

Adiposity, compared with masculinity, serves as a more valid cue to immunocompetence in human mate choice.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Section of Ecology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.

Abstract

According to the 'good genes' hypothesis, females choose males based on traits that indicate the male's genetic quality in terms of disease resistance. The 'immunocompetence handicap hypothesis' proposed that secondary sexual traits serve as indicators of male genetic quality, because they indicate that males can contend with the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone. Masculinity is commonly assumed to serve as such a secondary sexual trait. Yet, women do not consistently prefer masculine looking men, nor is masculinity consistently related to health across studies. Here, we show that adiposity, but not masculinity, significantly mediates the relationship between a direct measure of immune response (hepatitis B antibody response) and attractiveness for both body and facial measurements. In addition, we show that circulating testosterone is more closely associated with adiposity than masculinity. These findings indicate that adiposity, compared with masculinity, serves as a more important cue to immunocompetence in female mate choice.

PMID:
23193134
PMCID:
PMC3574414
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2012.2495
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center