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  Male or female? Influence of gender role and sexual attraction on sex categorization of faces

Luther, T., Lewis, C. A., Grahlow, M., Hüpen, P., Habel, U., Foster, C., et al. (2021). Male or female? Influence of gender role and sexual attraction on sex categorization of faces. Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 718004. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.718004.

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Luther, Teresa1, Author
Lewis, Carolin Annette1, 2, 3, Author           
Grahlow, Melina1, 4, Author
Hüpen, Philippa5, 6, Author
Habel, Ute5, 6, Author
Foster, Celia7, 8, Author
Bülthoff, Isabelle8, Author
Derntl, Birgit1, 9, 10, 11, Author
1Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Minerva Research Group EGG (Emotion & neuroimaGinG) Lab, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3230775              
3International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_2616696              
4Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Jülich Aachen Research Alliance - JARA BRAIN, Jülich, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Biopsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science, University of Bielefeld, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Department of Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
9LEAD Graduate School and Research Network, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
10International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
11Tübingen Neuro Campus, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Face perception; Gender; Gender role; Sex categorization; Sexual orientation
 Abstract: The categorization of dominant facial features, such as sex, is a highly relevant function for social interaction. It has been found that attributes of the perceiver, such as their biological sex, influence the perception of sexually dimorphic facial features with women showing higher recognition performance for female faces than men. However, evidence on how aspects closely related to biological sex influence face sex categorization are scarce. Using a previously validated set of sex-morphed facial images (morphed from male to female and vice versa), we aimed to investigate the influence of the participant's gender role identification and sexual orientation on face sex categorization, besides their biological sex. Image ratings, questionnaire data on gender role identification and sexual orientation were collected from 67 adults (34 females). Contrary to previous literature, biological sex per se was not significantly associated with image ratings. However, an influence of participant sexual attraction and gender role identity became apparent: participants identifying with male gender attributes and showing attraction toward females perceived masculinized female faces as more male and femininized male faces as more female when compared to participants identifying with female gender attributes and attraction toward males. Considering that we found these effects in a predominantly cisgender and heterosexual sample, investigation of face sex perception in individuals identifying with a gender different from their assigned sex (i.e., transgender people) might provide further insights into how assigned sex and gender identity are related.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-09-21
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.718004
Other: eCollection 2021
PMID: 34621218
PMC: PMC8490621
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : DFG 2319/2-4 and DFG 3202/7-4
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Source 1

Title: Frontiers in Psychology
  Abbreviation : Front Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 12 Sequence Number: 718004 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-1078
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664-1078