Would your Valentine cheat? A study published last fall suggests the shape of a man’s face might give some clues.

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Men with this face may be more likely to cheat on their partners says SFU researcher

February 12, 2018
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Would your Valentine cheat? A study published last fall suggests the shape of a man’s face might give some clues.

The study, led by SFU psychology researcher Brian Bird and academics from other institutions, shows that men with a high facial width-to-height ratio (FWHR) may have higher sex drives and may be more likely to cheat on their partners.

In the study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, the researchers recruited male and female students from two Canadian universities for separate studies. In both studies, the researchers measured the participants’ FWHR (the width of the face divided by the distance between the lip and upper brow ridge) via facial photographs, and measured sex drive from questionnaires.

"Past research shows that the facial-width-to-height ratio predicts dominant types of behaviour, such as aggression,” says Bird. “Some researchers speculate that during critical life periods like puberty, a rise in testosterone may influence the development of this facial structure, as well as the organization of neural circuitry that underlies dominant behaviours.”  

He adds: “However, we also know that testosterone is not only relevant for dominant behaviours, but also for attitudes and orientations toward sexual activity. This is the first study to see if this facial metric correlates with variables that are important for mating psychology in men and women.”  

In the second study, the researchers also had the participants complete questionnaires designed to measure attitudes towards casual sex and the likelihood of cheating on a romantic partner. The findings suggest that for both studies, higher FWHRs (i.e., shorter and wider faces) are associated with higher sex drives in men and women. Findings from the second study also suggest an association between high FWHR and interest in casual sex, as well as intention to commit infidelity among men.

Link to study: http://i.sfu.ca/TjXuge

Contact:
Brian Bird, psychology, bmbird@sfu.ca
Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3035/778.782.5151, jrwong@sfu.ca