20 November 2008

Dating Tip 102: Cut yourself shaving

by Kate Melville

According to new research from the University of Liverpool, facial scars indicate high levels of testosterone and that means that men with facial scars are more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships. Researcher Rob Burriss speculates that facial scarring likely indicates health and bravery to women.

Interestingly, the researchers 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.

The research involved showing male and female participants images of faces that displayed scarring from injury or illness. The participants were then 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," said Burriss.

"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 ritualized club fights designed to test a man's endurance against repeated strikes to the head, evidence of his courage and ability to withstand an opponent's blow," Burriss concluded.

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Source: University of Liverpool