Women can tell a cheating man just by looking at them: study

HONG KONG Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:57pm EST

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Women can tell with some accuracy whether an unfamiliar male is faithful simply by looking at his face, but men seem to lack the same ability when checking out women, according to an Australian study published on Wednesday.

In a paper that appeared in the journal Biology Letters, the researchers found that women tended to make that judgment based on how masculine-looking the man was.

"Women's ratings of unfaithfulness showed small-moderate, significant correlations with measures of actual infidelity," wrote the team, led by Gillian Rhodes at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

"More masculine-looking men (were) rated as more probable to be unfaithful and having a sexual history of being more unfaithful."

Attractiveness was not a factor in the women making the link.

In the study, 34 men and 34 women were shown colour photographs of 189 Caucasian adult faces and asked to rate them for faithfulness.

The researchers compared their answers to the self-reported sexual histories of the 189 individuals and found that the women participants were better able to tell who was faithful and who was not.

"We provide the first evidence that faithfulness judgments, based solely on facial appearance, have a kernel of truth," they wrote in the paper.

Men, on the other hand, seemed to have no clue. They tended to perceive attractive, feminine women to be unfaithful, when there was no evidence that they were, the scientists noted.

Faithfulness is seen as important in the context of sexual relationships and mate choice, the scientists wrote in the paper. Men with unfaithful partners risk raising another man's child, while women with unfaithful partners risk losing some, or even all, parental and other resources to competitors.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn, editing by Elaine Lies)

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Comments (9)
“More masculine-looking men (were) rated as more probable to be unfaithful and having a sexual history of being more unfaithful.”

Did the study account for cultural bias as a source of the predictions made by the women, instead of assuming there’s a correlation between “masculinity” and fidelity?
What control is there in this study to account for lieing on the questionnaires?
Is this study the statistically significant?

First, the women could have made those statements based on the popular non scientific knowledge that “masculine” men are considered more attractive( or consider themselves more attractive, or both) and therefore will be hit on more or will hit on women more or both, increasing the probability that they will cheat.

Second,another popular non-scientific knowledge is that men are more likely to exaggerate about sexual exploits while women are more likely to downplay.

Third, is the study big enough to be meaningful? Can I go to any country in the world, and have similar results?

Dec 05, 2012 8:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
scythe wrote:
men don’t judge a book by its cover

instead they observe the behaviour of women to detect unfaithfulness

a relief that men scored badly with such a superficial proxy as photographs

shallow stereotyping

Dec 06, 2012 1:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
MrRFox wrote:
The grammar in the title … I mean – come on, guys.

OBTW: All guys cheat who are capable of finding the right woman to do it with – not 100%, but close enough.

Dec 06, 2012 6:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
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