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Research Article

Gender Differences in the Motivational Processing of Babies Are Determined by Their Facial Attractiveness

  • Rinah Yamamoto,

    Affiliation: Clinical Psychopathology Laboratory, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Dan Ariely,

    Affiliation: Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Won Chi,

    Affiliation: Clinical Psychopathology Laboratory, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Daniel D. Langleben,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Igor Elman mail

    ielman@partners.org

    Affiliation: Clinical Psychopathology Laboratory, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Published: June 24, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006042

Reader Comments (7)

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Comment on conclusion

Posted by Fletcher on 24 Jun 2009 at 17:17 GMT

In the conclusion, it is stated "Such gender-specific incentive sensitization phenomenon may reflect an evolutionary-derived need for diversion of limited resources to the nurturance of healthy offspring."

Was there any consideration to the fact that many (most?) males are often attracted to disturbing images and women in general are not? Should the males interest/curiosity in the disfigurement be at least considered as a reason for their extended viewing and females lack of such interest be a possible reason to quickly skip to the next image?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Comment on conclusion

Aligarner replied to Fletcher on 27 Jun 2009 at 01:37 GMT

I agree with the previous comment. Also the fact that only 27 people were involved in the study is absurd. Did you consider the possibility that people have been taught not to stare at those with facial differences? Or that it might be difficult for a compassionate woman to look for a long time as a baby with a cleft palate because she knows that it's a difficult situation for the baby? This in no way means that as a mother she wouldn't love an "unattractive" baby. I also object to the characterization of those with facial differences as being unattractive - - I have a son with Down syndrome and have considered him to be beautiful from the day he was born. I think the article was too flawed to have even been considered for publication.

No competing interests declared.