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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/1138

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Title: Body odor quality predicts behavioral attractiveness in humans
Authors: Roberts, S. Craig
Kralevich, Alexandra
Ferdenzi, Camille
Saxton, Tamsin K.
Jones, Benedict C.
DeBruine, Lisa M.
Little, Anthony C.
Havlicek, Jan
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social & Health Sciences
Keywords: Mate choice
Nonverbal behavior
Sexual selection
Olfaction
Good genes
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: This is the author's final version of this article. Published version (c)Springer Verlag, available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9803-8. The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Citation: Roberts, S.C., et al. 2011. Body odor quality predicts behavioral attractiveness in humans. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40(6): pp.1111-1117. Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9803-8
Abstract: Growing effort is being made to understand how different attractive physical traits co-vary within individuals, partly because this might indicate an underlying index of genetic quality. In humans, attention has focused on potential markers of quality such as facial attractiveness, axillary odor quality, the second-to-fourth digit (2D:4D) ratio and body mass index (BMI). Here we extend this approach to include visually-assessed kinesic cues (nonverbal behavior linked to movement) which are statistically independent of structural physical traits. The utility of such kinesic cues in mate assessment is controversial, particularly during everyday conversational contexts, as they could be unreliable and susceptible to deception. However, we show here that the attractiveness of nonverbal behavior, in 20 male participants, is predicted by perceived quality of their axillary body odor. This finding indicates covariation between two desirable traits in different sensory modalities. Depending on two different rating contexts (either a simple attractiveness rating or a rating for long-term partners by 10 female raters not using hormonal contraception), we also found significant relationships between perceived attractiveness of nonverbal behavior and BMI, and between axillary odor ratings and 2D:4D ratio. Axillary odor pleasantness was the single attribute that consistently predicted attractiveness of nonverbal behavior. Our results demonstrate that nonverbal kinesic cues could reliably reveal mate quality, at least in males, and could corroborate and contribute to mate assessment based on other physical traits.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/1138
ISSN: 0004-0002
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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