Body height, immunity, facial and vocal attractiveness in young men

Ilona Skrinda, Tatjana Krama, Sanita Kecko, Fhionna R. Moore, Ants Kaasik, Laila Meija, Vilnis Lietuvietis, Markus J. Rantala, Indrikis Krams (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Health, facial and vocal attributes and body height of men may affect a diverse range of social outcomes such as attractiveness to potential mates and competition for resources. Despite evidence that each parameter plays a role in mate choice, the relative role of each and inter-relationships between them, is still poorly understood. In this study, we tested relationships both between these parameters and with testosterone and immune function. We report positive relationships between testosterone with facial masculinity and attractiveness, and we found that facial masculinity predicted facial attractiveness and antibody response to a vaccine. Moreover, the relationship between antibody response to a hepatitis B vaccine and body height was found to be non-linear, with a positive relationship up to a height of 188 cm, but an inverse relationship in taller men. We found that vocal attractiveness was dependent upon vocal masculinity. The relationship between vocal attractiveness and body height was also non-linear, with a positive relationship of up to 178 cm, which then decreased in taller men. We did not find a significant relationship between body height and the fundamental frequency of vowel sounds provided by young men, while body height negatively correlated with the frequency of second formant. However, formant frequency was not associated with the strength of immune response. Our results demonstrate the potential of vaccination research to reveal costly traits that govern evolution of mate choice in humans and the importance of trade-offs among these traits.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1017-1025
    Number of pages9
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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