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Studies in face perception often use androgynous faces as a tool. The common assumption
about androgynous faces is that they lie at the halfway point of a continuum that
features "male" and "female" at the extremes. However, this definition has not been verified
by research. This thesis uses a variety of methods, with an emphasis on data-driven
methods, to test common assumptions about androgynous faces. Chapter 2 compared
morphed faces, which were created using the common definition of facial androgyny,
to naturally androgynous faces. Although the two groups were rated as equally androgynous,
the naturally androgynous faces were rated as significantly more feminine.
Chapter 3 focused on understanding androgynous face perception while minimizing prior
assumptions. In a series of experiments, participants handled androgyny-related tasks
and stimuli in a way that was qualitatively and quantitatively different than their gendered
counterparts. Overall, these results suggest androgyny as a category cannot be
accurately summarized as halfway between male and female and that a more nuanced
approach to studying face gender is needed. / Thesis / Master of Science (MSc)
Date January 2022
CreatorsGreenberg, Leigh
ContributorsSekuler, Allison, Bennett, Patrick
Source SetsMcMaster University
Detected LanguageEnglish

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