Scientists find facial scars increase attractiveness
Men with facial scars are more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships, scientists at the University of Liverpool have found. It was previously assumed that in Western cultures scarring was an unattractive facial feature and in non-Western cultures they were perceived as a sign of maturity and strength. Scientists at Liverpool and Stirling University, however, have found that Western women find scarring on men attractive and may associate it with health and bravery.
Researchers investigated how scarring might impact on mate choice for men and women seeking both long-term and short-term relationships. They found that women preferred men with facial scars for short-term relationships and equally preferred scarred and un-scarred faces for long-term relationships. Men, however, regarded women with and without facial scars as equally attractive for both types of relationship.
Dr Rob Burriss, from the University's School of Biological Sciences, explains: "Male and female participants were shown images of faces that displayed scarring from injury or illness, and were asked to rate how attractive they found the person for long-term and short-term relationships.
"Women may have rated scarring as an attractive quality for short-term relationships because they found it be a symbol of masculinity, a feature that is linked to high testosterone levels and an indicator of good genetic qualities that can be passed on to offspring. Men without scars, however, could be seen as more caring and therefore more suitable for long-term relationships.
"The results demonstrate that we may have more in common with non-Western cultures than previously thought. The perception that scarring is a sign of strength is a view shared by the Yanomamö tribe of Venezuela for example, who use face-paint to accentuate scars that result from ritualised club fights designed to test a man's endurance against repeated strikes to the head.
"The assumption that scarring is a sign of bravery is also consistent with the historical tradition of academic fencing in Western culture, whereby scarring on a man was often evidence of his courage and ability to withstand an opponent's blow."
Source: University of Liverpool
- Scientists find facial scars increase attractivenessfrom Science BlogWed, 19 Nov 2008, 13:08:16 EST
- Sex appeal of Action Man scars revealedfrom The Guardian - ScienceTue, 18 Nov 2008, 19:28:26 EST
- Facial scars are attractive to the opposite sexfrom The Guardian - ScienceTue, 18 Nov 2008, 12:35:09 EST
- Scientists find facial scars increase attractivenessfrom Science CentricTue, 18 Nov 2008, 11:21:32 EST
- Scientists find facial scars increase attractivenessfrom PhysorgTue, 18 Nov 2008, 10:07:35 EST
- Why Women Dig Men with Scarsfrom Live ScienceTue, 18 Nov 2008, 9:43:15 EST
- Men With Facial Scars Are More Attractive To Women Seeking Short-term Relationshipsfrom Science DailyTue, 18 Nov 2008, 9:21:40 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Preventive surgery for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Antarctic study identifies melting ice sheet's role in sea level rise
- Do venture capitalists matter?
- Bachelor's paradise: FSU researcher finds female turtles outnumbering males
- Study examines long-term effectiveness of hepatitis A vaccination in children