The relationship between facial appearance and health in humans

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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I examined evolutionary predictions that facial attractiveness is a signal of health in humans. I provided cross-species meta­ analytic evidence supporting the assumption that male sexual dimorphism signals health because testosterone suppresses immunity. I also provided correlational evidence that facial masculinity is positively related to semen quality in men. However, health did not predict mating success in either sex. Therefore, health might no longer be sexually selected in modem societies. Using a dietary supplementation experiment, I found that the carotenoid beta-carotene affects facial colour and attractiveness but not health, suggesting that carotenoid-based skin colour might not signal health.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Rhodes, Gillian, Supervisor
  • Simmons, Leigh, Supervisor
Award date24 Jan 2017
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016


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