Why women find wider-faced men more attractive for short-term relationships
A new study suggests that women may perceive men with wider faces as more dominant and more attractive for short-term relationships.
"Our study shows that within three minutes of meeting in real life, women find more dominant, wider-faced men attractive for short-term relationships, and want to go on another date with them," psychological scientist and lead researcher Katherine Valentine of Singapore Management University, said.
According to Valentine, there's considerable academic debate about whether physical dominance is advantageous in mating a€" that is, actually attractive to women. At the same time, researchers have been exploring facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) as a possible physical indicator of male dominance.
This new study, she says, addressed both issues.
"High male fWHR has previously been associated with surviving in hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness, self-perceived power, and CEO's financial success," Valentine said.
"Our study shows it's also a reasonably good indicator of perceived dominance a€" not only that, it piques women's interest in a face-to-face speed-dating setting," she said.
Valentine and colleagues hypothesized that increased fWHR, due to its link with testosterone, would make men seem more dominant and more desirable as romantic interests in the short-term.
But, because facial width is also linked with undesirable traits like aggression, women would not see these men as more desirable for long-term relationships.
The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(Posted on 06-02-2014)
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