Socioeconomic Status Is Not Related with Facial Fluctuating Asymmetry: Evidence from Latin-American Populations

Quinto-Sánchez, Mirsha; Cintas, Celia; Silva de Cerqueira, Caio Cesar; Ramallo, Virginia; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Adhikari, Kaustubh; Castillo, Lucía; Gomez-Valdés, Jorge; Everardo, Paola; De Avila, Francisco; Hünemeier, Tábita; Jaramillo, Claudia; Arias, Williams; Fuentes, Macarena; Gallo, Carla; Poletti, Giovani; Schuler-Faccini, Lavinia; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Canizales-Quinteros, Samuel; Rothhammer, Francisco; Bedoya, Gabriel; Rosique, Javier; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés and González-José, Rolando (2017). Socioeconomic Status Is Not Related with Facial Fluctuating Asymmetry: Evidence from Latin-American Populations. PLOS ONE, 12(1), article no. e0169287.



The expression of facial asymmetries has been recurrently related with poverty and/or disadvantaged socioeconomic status. Departing from the developmental instability theory, previous approaches attempted to test the statistical relationship between the stress experienced by individuals grown in poor conditions and an increase in facial and corporal asymmetry. Here we aim to further evaluate such hypothesis on a large sample of admixed Latin Americans individuals by exploring if low socioeconomic status individuals tend to exhibit greater facial fluctuating asymmetry values. To do so, we implement Procrustes analysis of variance and Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM) to estimate potential associations between facial fluctuating asymmetry values and socioeconomic status. We report significant relationships between facial fluctuating asymmetry values and age, sex, and genetic ancestry, while socioeconomic status failed to exhibit any strong statistical relationship with facial asymmetry. These results are persistent after the effect of heterozygosity (a proxy for genetic ancestry) is controlled in the model. Our results indicate that, at least on the studied sample, there is no relationship between socioeconomic stress (as intended as low socioeconomic status) and facial asymmetries.

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