When a woman gazes into a man's face, it's not the square jaw or rugged complexion that creates sparks and sets her heart aflutter. Instead, women who are looking for a long-term relationship or marriage prefer feminine features and full lips.
That's the word from researchers at Durham University in England and St. Andrews in Scotland who determined the macho man may not be the chick magnet he thinks he is.
The study: Four hundred men and women were asked to examine digitally altered photographs of male faces that were made to look either more feminine or more masculine. They were asked to rate each face for such traits as dominance, ambition, wealth, faithfulness, commitment, parenting skills and warmth.
The results: Men who had masculine features, such as larger noses, smaller eyes and thicker eyebrows, were perceived by both men and women to be more dominant, less faithful, less affectionate and a worse parent. But men who had finer and more feminine facial features, such as full lips, wide eyes and thinner, more curved eyebrows, were viewed by women as better potential long-term mates. But above all, women want a healthy-looking man, whom they think would be the greatest source of wealth and the best fit for family life.
Women also think they can tell a lot about a man's personality by looking at his face. Guys, this is important information. If she likes what she sees, she may talk to you--even if you're a stranger in a bar. "That decision-making process all depends on what a woman is looking for in a relationship at that time of her life," lead study author and evolutionary psychologist Lynda Boothroyd of Durham University told Agence France Presse.
The study findings were published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
--From the Editors at Netscape