Infant preference for female faces occurs for same- but not other-race faces.

Journal of neuropsychology

PubMedID: 19334302

Quinn PC, Uttley L, Lee K, Gibson A, Smith M, Slater AM, Pascalis O. Infant preference for female faces occurs for same- but not other-race faces. J Neuropsychol. 2008;2(Pt 1):15-26.
There has been a recent surge of interest in the question of how infants respond to the social attributes of race and gender information in faces. This work has demonstrated that by 3 months of age, infants will respond preferentially to same-race faces and faces depicting the gender of the primary caregiver. In the current study, we investigated emergence of the female face preference for same- versus other-race faces to examine whether the determinants of preference for face gender and race are independent or interactive in young infants. In Expt I, 3-month-old Caucasian infants displayed a preference for female over male faces when the faces were Caucasian, but not when the faces were Asian. In Expt 2, new-born Caucasian infants did not demonstrate a preference for female over male faces for Caucasian faces. The results are discussed in terms of a face prototype that becomes progressively tuned as it is structured by the interaction of the gender and race of faces that are experienced during early development.