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Windhager Sonja | Writing-Up Fellow
2013-01-15 - 2013-12-14 | Research area: EvoDevo
Human Facial Sexual Dimorphism: Quantifying Morphology and its Perception
Until now, there has been no thorough approach to the puzzle of the degree of contemporary human sexual dimorphism in the face, which actually concerns not only the cranium as previously investigated but also the lower face, soft tissue, and, importantly, the perception of mate quality. This is of theoretical relevance for human evolutionary history because the degree of sexual dimorphism hints at the kind of social system and sexual selection patterns. Furthermore, it is not yet clear in how far body height—as represented by facial allometry—contributes to the interpersonal attribution of dominance, masculinity, and attractiveness. Novel morphometric methods, i.e., geometric morphometrics (GMM) including the concept of the psychomorphospace, allow for the first time the comparison of facial shape variation to attributions of attractiveness, maturity, dominance, and masculinity in the same data space. This way, this project will not only replicate, challenge and extend prior findings, but test a new set of predictions that specifically combine these two data sources, morphology and perception.