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How long a man envisions spending with a particular female partner may have a lot to do with the femininity of her facial features, according to research.
The research, which was led by Anthony Little from the University of Stirling and Benedict Jones from the University of Glasgow, discovered men prefer women with more feminine faces for flings.
This preference was especially prevalent among men who were already in committed relationships. The findings appear in the current issue of the British Journal of Psychology.
For the study, several hundred heterosexual males were asked to rate composite images of women with variations on facial features. More feminine characteristics were altered in some, including fuller cheeks or a less prominent jawbone.
“Men prefer women with
more feminine faces for flings.”
Faces used in the study were from Japanese and European women.
Participants were asked to gauge their attraction to the hypothetical women, along with choosing them for either a short-term fling or a longer relationship.
“When a man has secured a mate, the potential cost of being discovered may increase his choosiness regarding short-term partners relative to unpartnered men, who can better increase their short-term mating success by relaxing their standards,” wrote the study authors.
As to longer relationship material, the less feminine faces ranked higher. The study points out that for long-term decisions, some men “may actually prefer less attractive or feminine women.”
The study reminds that much of these impulses are related to our hard-wiring, as feminine features are associated with a healthy reproductive system for mating.
From: The British Journal of Psychology.
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