Cues to sex- and stress-hormones in the human male face: Functions of glucocorticoids in the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis

Fhionna R. Moore, Emad A.S. Al-Dujaili, R. E. Cornwell, Miriam J. Law Smith, Jamie F. Lawson, Martin Sharp, Dave I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The stress-linked version of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis has been proposed to account for inconsistencies in relationships between testosterone and immune response. The model has received some support from studies demonstrating roles of stress hormones in relationships between testosterone, immune function and secondary sexual ornamentation. Such work, however, has relied on artificial elevation of testosterone so may not reflect relationships in natural populations. We created human male facial stimuli on the basis of naturally co-occurring levels of salivary testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol. In Study 1 we tested female preferences for male faces with cues to combinations of the hormones across the menstrual cycle, and in Study 2 we tested perceptions of health and dominance in a novel set of facial stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

Keywords

  • cortisol
  • testosterone
  • facial masculinity
  • stress-linked immunocompetence handicap hypothesis

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    Moore, F. R., Al-Dujaili, E. A. S., Cornwell, R. E., Law Smith, M. J., Lawson, J. F., Sharp, M., & Perrett, D. I. (2011). Cues to sex- and stress-hormones in the human male face: Functions of glucocorticoids in the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis. Hormones and Behavior, 60(3), 269-274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2011.05.010