No Evidence of the Good Genes Hypothesis Found
Using photographs of real men, Peters, et.al (2009) found no evidence of a preference for either masculinized or symmetric male faces or bodies in ovulating women.
Previous studies that have found a relationship between ovulation and attraction to masculine features have used computer-morphed images that are weak in ecological validity. This study used photographs of actual men, like the ones below.
Masculinity, attractiveness, and symmetry ratings of the stimuli appear to approximate a normal distribution, strengthening the ecological validity of this study. The only noteworthy limitation in this design is that there were no objective measurements of masculinity or symmetry – only subjective ratings were used.
The authors were also careful to use precise measurements of ovulation to ensure that the ratings of women in the ovulatory phase were well-within the previously identified six-day long sexually active phase of the menstrual cycle.
Marianne Peters, Leigh W. Simmons, Gillian Rhodes (2009). Preferences across the Menstrual Cycle for Masculinity and Symmetry in Photographs of Male Faces and Bodies PLoS ONE, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004138