Urszula Marcinkowska


I work with evolutionary basis of human sexual selection. I have been researching sexual preferences towards different faces, and factors that shape these preferences. I worked on sexual imprinting in humans (both positive and negative) – do we like or dislike faces that resemble our parents or siblings. Currently I am focusing more on how hormones influence our preferences, sexual openness and overall well-being.
I am also interested in cross-cultural studies comparisons in the theme of sexual selection.



Marcinkowska UM, Terraube J, Kaminski G. 2016. How did my little sister influence my facial preferences? Scientific Reports 6: 33545 doi:10.1038/srep33545

Marcinkowska UM, Helle S, Lyons MT. 2016. Women’s reproductive success and the preference for Dark Triad in men’s faces. Evolution and Human Behavior 37: 287–292

Lyons MT, Marcinkowska UM, Palmer V, Harrison N. 2016. Relationship status and resource availability affect women’s preference for masculinity: evidence from an eye-tracking study. Personality and Individual Differences 95: 25-28

Marcinkowska UM, Ellison PT, Galbarczyk A, Milkowska K, Pawlowski B, Thune I, Jasienska G. 2016. Lack of support for relation between woman’s masculinity preference, estradiol level and mating context. Hormones and Behavior 78: 1-7

Marcinkowska UM, Dixson B, Kozlov MV, Rantala MJ. 2015. Men’s Preferences for Female Facial Femininity Decline With Age. Journal of Gerontology doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv077

Marcinkowska UM, Helle S, Lyons MT. 2015. Dark traits: Sometimes hot, and sometimes not? Female preferences for Dark Triad faces depend on sociosexuality and contraceptive use. Personality and Individual Differences 86: 369 – 373

Lyons MT, Marcinkowska UM, Helle S, McGrath L. 2015. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most masculine of them all? The Dark Triad, masculinity, and women’s mate choice. Personality and Individual Differences 74: 153-158

Marcinkowska UM, Kozlov MV, Contreras-Garduno J, Dixson BJ, Oana GA, Kaminski G, Li NP, Lyons MT, Onyishi IE, Prasai K, Prokop P, Rosales Cardozo S, Sydney N, Yong JC, Rantala MJ. 2014. Cross­cultural variation in men’s preference for sexual dimorphism in women faces. Biology Letters 10: 20130850

Burris R, Marcinkowska UM, Lyons MT. 2014. Gaze properties of women judging the attractiveness of masculine and feminine male faces. Evolutionary Psychology 12: 19­-35

Marcinkowska UM, Moore FH, Rantala MJ. 2013.  An experimental test of Westermarck effect: sex differences in inbreeding avoidance. Behavioral Ecology 24: 842­-845

Moore FR, Coetzee V, Contreras-Garduño J, Debruine LM, Kleisner K, Krams I, Marcinkowska UM, Nord A, Perrett DI, Rantala MJ, Schaum N, Suzuki TN. 2012. An experimental test of Westermarck effect: sex differences in inbreeding avoidance. Biology Letters 9: 2013005

Marcinkowska UM & Rantala MJ. 2012.  Sexual imprinting on facial traits of opposite ­sex parents in humans. Evolutionary Psychology 10: 621-­630

Rantala MJ & Marcinkowska UM. 2011. The role of positive and negative sexual imprinting on mate choice in humans. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 859-873