A tongue can lie, but a face never can, or so it is widely believed. A face communicates a myriad of information, especially one’s emotions. A look on a person’s face says more than the words they speak, as only 7% of all communication is verbal (1). But a recent study has shown that what a face can tell us goes beyond that – a face can reveal one’s propensity for infidelity.
What The Study Says?
The study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior states that men with wider faces, or, in other words, men who have a large facial width-to-height ratio, are prone to a higher drive for bedroom fun and consequently are likely to engage in physical activity outside their primary relationship (2). Almost 500 students from two Canadian universities were polled and the results were groundbreaking. Those with wider faces had higher drives for physical activity between the sheets and were more open to casual encounters as opposed to their thinner-faced counterparts. They showed less interest in monogamy and were more open to polyamorous relationships.
A group of men and women in committed relationships were asked about the physical aspects of their relationships – how often they made love, how often they’d like to make love, and whether they’ve ever made love with anyone outside of their relationship. They were further asked about their feelings towards casual flings and cheating. The study showed that a higher facial width-to-height ratio correlated with their desire for physical intimacy.
What The Experts Say?
A possible explanation is that men with wider faces are exposed to more androgens and testosterone during fetal development. This increased hormonal exposure not only causes a change in the desire for fun-time in the sack but also makes their faces more masculine. Hence, they end up with wider jaws and a distinct set of cheekbones. Further, women might be prone to giving these men exactly what they want as they tend to find them more attractive, according to a study conducted in 2014 (3). The study reported that women find men with wider faces to be more dominant, thus increasing their desire to form a romantic relationship.
Steven Arnocky, the lead author of the first study, is of the opinion that facial characteristics can determine our motivations for physical intimacy. However, as with all scientific studies, it is important to note that there is a difference between causation and correlation. Amocky’s study shows a correlation and hence one must make room for the possibility that there can be exceptions. It is also important to remember that the studies were conducted with a sample of people, which does not reflect the diversity of the general population. In fact, close to 80% of the test subjects were Caucasian.
Moreover, surveys aren’t the most reliable source of information for the simple reason that people lie. Especially when it comes to matters of the bedroom and fidelity, the bar of honesty isn’t very high. One must also consider the fact that those who were polled were college students, an age group that is yet to figure out who they really are, some choosing to represent a different image of themselves from their true selves. Coming to the fact that androgen exposure causes a person to have a wider face, one cannot neglect the role that the environment and other exposures play.
All in all, the study may have its merits; however, it is logical to conclude that it isn’t foolproof. Keep that in mind before you carry a tape measure with you on your next date.