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Male or Female?: Influence of Gender Role and Sexual Orientation on Sex Categorization of Faces

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Foster,  C
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff,  I
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Luther, T., Lewis, C., Grahlow, M., Hüpen, P., Habel, U., Foster, C., et al. (2021). Male or Female?: Influence of Gender Role and Sexual Orientation on Sex Categorization of Faces. Poster presented at Psychologie und Gehirn (PuG 2021).


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-5975-0
Abstract
Introduction: 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. Methods: 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). Results: Contrary to previous literature, biological sex per se was not significantly associated with image ratings. However, an influence of participant sex was reflected in connection with data on sexual orientation and certain attributes of gender role identity: Participants strongly identifying with male gender attributes and showing strong attraction towards feminine individuals perceived masculinized female faces and femininized male faces as more male when compared to participants to whom these characteristics applied less. Discussion: Considering that our sample predominantly consisted of cisgender and heterosexual individuals and given the crucial role of sex categorization for social behavior and interaction, investigation of face sex perception in individuals identifying with a gender different from their assigned sex (i.e. transgender people) represents an important objective for further research.