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Father absence, parent-daughter relationships and partner preferences.

Boothroyd, L.G. and Perrett, D.I. (2008) 'Father absence, parent-daughter relationships and partner preferences.', Journal of evolutionary psychology., 6 (3). pp. 187-205.


The purpose of this research was to determine whether or not the father absence literature can be successfully used to predict patterns of female preferences for facial masculinity in young adulthood. Predictions were made based on the effect father absence may have on the development of (a) sexual strategy, and (b) female ‘condition’, and were tested in two independent samples. Results for the link between father absence and masculinity preference were mixed; across both studies, however, daughters who reported low quality relationship with parents during childhood showed lower masculinity preference. These results predominantly support the condition dependence predictions that early family stress should be associated with reduced ability to compete for mates and thus preference for less masculine men. Additionally, in Study 2, family background was associated with facial preferences and age of menarche only amongst women who were not currently in happy and committed relationships, which suggests that there are systematic physiological and/or psychological differences between women for whom father absence is and is not related to long term outcomes.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Father absence, Parent-child relationships, Attraction.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The archived file in DRO is not the final published version of the paper. Boothroyd, L.G. and Perrett, D.I. (2008) ’Father absence, parent-daughter relationships and partner preferences.’, Journal of evolutionary psychology., 6 (3). pp. 187-205.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:05 February 2014
Date of first online publication:September 2008
Date first made open access:No date available

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