Physical attractiveness of face and body as indicators of physical fitness in men

Johannes Honekopp, Udo Rudolph, Lothar Beier, Andreas Liebert, Constanze Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Human physical attractiveness appears to be an important signal of mate value that is utilized in mate choice We argue that performance-related physical fitness (PF) was an important facet of ancestral male mate value and, therefore, that a positive relationship exists between PF and physical attractiveness as well as mating success. We investigated these relationships in a sample of 80 young men. In line with our predictions, we found that (i) a composite measure of PF correlated substantially with body attractiveness (r=.43, after controlling for confounds) but not with facial attractiveness; (ii) PF was positively related to various measures of self-reported mating success (rS ≈ .22); (iii) the relationship between PF and self-reported mating success was partly mediated by body attractiveness. We conclude it is a key function of men's body attractiveness to signal their PF and that men's faces and bodies signal different facets of mate value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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