Bodily attractiveness and egalitarianism are negatively related in males.
Ancestrally, relatively attractive individuals and relatively formidable males may have had reduced incentives to be egalitarian (i.e., to act in accordance with norms promoting social equality). If selection calibrated one's egalitarianism to one's attractiveness/formidability, then such people may exhibit reduced egalitarianism ("observed egalitarianism") and be perceived by others as less egalitarian ("perceived egalitarianism") in modern environments. To investigate, we created 3D body models of 125 participants to use both as a source of anthropometric measurements and as stimuli to obtain ratings of bodily attractiveness and perceived egalitarianism. We also measured observed egalitarianism (via an economic "dictator" game) and indices of political egalitarianism (preference for socialism over capitalism) and "equity sensitivity." Results indicated higher egalitarianism levels in women than in men, and moderate-to-strong negative relationships between (a) attractiveness and observed egalitarianism among men, (b) attractiveness and perceived egalitarianism among both sexes, and (c) formidability and perceived egalitarianism among men. We did not find support for two previously-reported findings: that observed egalitarianism and formidability are negatively related in men, and that wealth and formidability interact to explain variance in male egalitarianism. However, this lack of support may have been due to differences in variable measurement between our study and previous studies.