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Journal of Evolutionary Psychology
E. Oberzaucher
S. Katina
S. F. Schmehl
I. J. Holzleitner
I. Mehu-Blantar
, and
K. Grammer


In recent years, evidence has been gathered indicating increased attractiveness of female faces at the point of ovulation. In this paper, we asked what changes in facial appearance occur during menstrual cycle that lead to this shift in attractiveness. We analysed facial photographs of 20 young women with a normal cycle. We found evidence for textural changes, as well as shape changes that might account for the ovulatory peak in attractiveness. Generally, facial shape at ovulation is perceived as more attractive — and ovulating women are perceived as more attractive the closer their face shape is to the “ovulation shape”. These findings support the hypothesis that attractive signals might be rooted in signals of fertility.

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