Volume 7

The Role of Facial Features in Gender Ambiguous Situations: Perceptions of Traits

Cynthia C. Prockett and Dyana Scafidi Steeves

This study was designed to examine the influence of facial attractiveness and gender specificity on people’s first impressions. Participants included 119 undergraduate students who were presented with one of four pictures a young adult. The pictures varied by sex and by specificity or ambiguity of gender. The participants then evaluated the depicted adult’s personality traits, femininity, masculinity, and degree to which the model was concerned with appearance. The participants’ demographic information and personal attractiveness self-ratings were also collected. The findings indicated that participants ascribed more positive personality traits to models possessing gender-ambiguous traits than to models who possessed gender-specific facial characteristics.

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