Science 3 min read

Men With Masculine Faces More Likely to Be Unfaithful

Stokkete /

Stokkete /

A new study suggests that we can spot cheaters at a glance. According to the researchers, we may have received this evolutionary advantage from our ancestors.

Past studies already suggest that women can identify unfaithful men from their mugshots. One key factor that influenced the women’s judgment in the previous researches was the mens’ masculinity.

Unfortunately, the studies had an issue. They did not establish whether it’s possible to spot a philanderer of the same sex.

As such, the researchers at the University of Western Australia decided to conduct a new study to address this issue.

The Link Between Masculine Faces and Philandering

First, a group of different genders had to report if they had cheated in the past, including the extent of their unfaithfulness. They also had to disclose whether they had poached someone else’s partner too.

After that, the group had their pictures taken and rated for various features. These include attractiveness, trustworthiness, as well as how masculine or feminine they looked.

The researchers then invited some men and women to judge the group based on only their pictures. On a scale of one to ten, participants had to decide how likely they thought the person in the image would be unfaithful.

The result showed that men who self-reported more cheating and poaching received a higher unfaithfulness score. Also, while specific features on male faces stirred feelings of distrust in the participants, the researchers recorded no such effect for the images of women.

Upon further analysis, the researchers noted that the main feature was the facial masculinity. Simply put, images of people with masculine features – such as strong jaw and brow ridge with thinner lips – raised suspicion of cheating.

With that said, the researchers suggest that several other factors can affect perceived unfaithfulness.

According to the first author of the study, Dr. Yong Zhi Foo; 

“The actual unfaithfulness varies in our sample of faces, and 4-8% of this variation is accounted for by the average perceived unfaithfulness of those faces.”

So, why did the participants note cheating in only the faces of men and not women?

There are two possible reasons. According to the researchers, it’s either women are less prone to cheating than men, or the women’s makeup made it hard for the participants to establish the link between facial features and behaviors.

In any case, the results are still tentative. Further experiments with a broader and older variety of people are necessary to reach a conclusive result.

Read More: New Study: Pleasant Odors Can Decrease Cigarette Cravings

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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