Women might perceive men with wider deals with as more dominant and more attractive pertaining to short-term relationships, according to a new study in Psychological Technology , a journal of the Organization for Psychological Science.
“ Our study shows that within three minutes of conference in real life, women find more dominant, wider-faced men attractive pertaining to short-term relationships, and want to go on an additional date with them, ” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Katherine Valentine of Singapore Management University.
According to Valentine, there’ s considerable academic debate about whether physical dominance is beneficial in mating — that is, really attractive to women. At the same time, researchers are already exploring facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) as a possible physical indicator of male dominance.
This brand new study, she says, addressed each issues:
“ High male fWHR has previously already been associated with surviving in hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness, self-perceived power, and CEO’ s financial success, ” says Valentine. “ Our study shows it’ s also a reasonably good indication of perceived dominance — not only that, it piques women’ s interest in a face-to-face speed-dating setting. ”
Valentine and co-workers hypothesized that increased fWHR, because of its link with testosterone, would create men seem more dominant and more desirable as romantic interests in the short-term. But , because facial thickness is also linked with undesirable traits such as aggression, women would not see these men as more desirable for long-term relationships.
The researchers studied over 150 men and women, ages 18 to 32, who took part in one of several speed-dating events. The participants were all solitary and they received no compensation besides the prospect of making a potential romantic fit. Each speed-dating interaction lasted several minutes.
Male speed-daters with higher fWHR, as assessed by computer software, were independently graded as more dominant. Women not only portrayed more interest in short-term relationships using these men, but were also more likely to choose them for a second time. These associations held even after the particular researchers accounted for the men’ s age and independently-rated attractiveness.
Further analyses suggest that the link between higher fWHR and better interest in a short-term relationship could be accounted for, at least in part, by recognized dominance.
The fact that fWHR predicted whether women wanted an additional date with a man came like a surprise:
“ The truth that women wanted to see these men again suggests that our findings are robust — women aren’ t just saying they are interested, they’ re actually willing to be approached by these men, ” says Valentine. “ Previous studies have discovered that women prefer more dominant men for short-term relationships, but the majority of these studies were based in the lab and did not involve an interaction that could actually lead to mating and dating. ”
Valentine and colleagues plan on further looking into how these individual differences in men affect their overall attractiveness, and what contexts.