Participants rated the attractiveness and racial typicality of male faces varying in their facial features from Afrocentric to Eurocentric and in skin tone from dark to light in two experiments. Experiment 1 provided evidence that facial features and skin tone have an interactive effect on perceptions of attractiveness and mixed-race faces are perceived as more attractive than single-race faces. Experiment 2 further confirmed that faces with medium levels of skin tone and facial features are perceived as more attractive than faces with extreme levels of these factors. Black phenotypes (combinations of dark skin tone and Afrocentric facial features) were rated as more attractive than White phenotypes (combinations of light skin tone and Eurocentric facial features); ambiguous faces (combinations of Afrocentric and Eurocentric physiognomy) with medium levels of skin tone were rated as the most attractive in Experiment 2. Perceptions of attractiveness were relatively independent of racial categorization in both experiments.
Journal of General Psychology
Stepanova, E. V.,
Strube, M. J.
(2017). Attractiveness as a Function of Skin Tone and Facial Features: Evidence From Categorization Studies. Journal of General Psychology(1), 1-20.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/16569