Friday, September 19, 2008

Masculine Men Perceived as Less Faithful

What say you readers, true or false?

from eezy dating:
Masculine Men Perceived as Less Faithful

booster goldWomen see ‘masculine’ men as unsuitable long-term partners and more likely to be unfaithful, new research suggests.

Conversely, the psychologists from Durham and St Andrews Universities found that men with feminine facial features are seen as more committed and less likely to be cheat on their partners.

The study, published in the current edition of Personality and Individual Differences, asked over 400 British men and women to judge digitally altered pictures of male faces made to look more masculine or feminine. The participants were asked to predict personality traits including sexual behavior and parenting skills based on what they saw.

Men with masculine faces, with features such as a square jaw, larger nose and smaller eyes, were classed as significantly more dominant, less faithful, worse parents and as having personalities that were less warm, compared to their ‘feminine’ counterparts, who had finer facial features with fuller lips, wide eyes and thinner, more curved eyebrows.

The scientists say the research, partly supported by the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, backs up earlier research about masculinity and perceptions of personality and gives further insight into what people see in others when choosing potential partners. It will also advance studies in areas like evolutionary biology, fertility and genetics and offer new insights for relationship counseling and psychology.

Lead author, Dr Lynda Boothroyd, a lecturer with Durham University’s Department of Psychology, commented: “This research shows a high amount of agreement between women about what they see, personality wise, when asked to ‘judge a book by its cover’.

“They may well use that impression of someone to decide whether or not to engage with that person. That decision-making process all depends on what a woman is looking for in a relationship at that time of her life.”

The study asked participants to complete a web-based test. Pairs of pictures which only showed the face without any hair, ears, neck, shoulders or clothing visible, were presented side by side. The participants were asked to select which face they thought was more of a particular trait and how much more so by clicking on a point of the scale. Traits selected for judgment were dominance, ambition, wealth, faithfulness, commitment, parenting, and warmth.

The survey also found that faces which appeared healthier, for instance those with better complexion, were seen as more desirable in terms of all personality traits compared to those who looked unhealthy. Similarly, older faces were generally viewed more positively compared to younger ones.

Professor David Perrett from St Andrews University adds: “Our research also found that it is men’s health that conveys all round good qualities for partnership and personality. Our results contradict claims that machismo denotes fitness and disease immunity. Masculinity may buy you dominance but not necessarily tip top physical condition. Instead women see a healthy guy as the source of wealth, and fit for family life.”

Dr Lynda Boothroyd and research team. Macho men are seen as bad choice for long-term love. Durham University.
The obvious answer here is higher testosterone in the more masculine faces, which corresponds to a higher sex drive and more infidelity.

Obviously, again, this need not be true, but it sure seems to be the common perception.


Anonymous said...

What a load of crock.
fucking grow up man.

Anonymous said...

First of all, let me say that I've been lurking on your blog for a while, and I quite enjoy it.

The obvious answer here is higher testosterone in the more masculine faces, which corresponds to a higher sex drive and more infidelity.

Obviously, again, this need not be true, but it sure seems to be the common perception.

From my perspective, it seems obvious that this is not true... but I am a trans man, so my perspective is quite different.

My testosterone levels are currently incredibly high for a man my age... but because I have only had T in my system for a few months, my face is quite feminine still.

The other factor that leads me to question that assumption that high sex drive leads to greater infidelity is that I am naturally polyamorous and promiscuous. However, I agreed two weeks after my first shot of testosterone to remain faithful to one woman until such time as she is comfortable with my having sex with someone else.

I've succeeded in staying faithful, in spite of multiple opportunities to be unfaithful, including times when I have been drunk, had other women coming on to me, and I am still adjusting to a massively increased sex drive because of my high testosterone levels.

I think that the 'Testosterone Make Men Do or Be X' arguments in all their variations are a load of rubbish.

However, I think that we are socialised to associate certain behaviour from masculine people, and feminine people. Heterosexual women are taught to expect masculinity to be a certain way, and so its not surprising that they see a masculine face and associate masculine traits with it.