The Scotsman

Women who fear violence choose men with more feminine faces


Women who fear men could be a danger to their children prefer less masculine faces, according to research from the University of St Andrews.

The study by scientists at the university’s school of psychology, is the first to find women’s face preference­s are influenced by experience­s and perception­s of violence.

Researcher­s found the more women agree with the statement “men are dangerous to their children”, the more they preferred feminine male partners.

The study, in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, 0 A study questioned people in Bogota about violence found the fear of men harming their children was a greater factor in choosing men, than education and health.

Bogota, Columbia’s capital, was the test site because it is one of world’s most violent nations – its homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitant­s was 30.8 compared to 1.0 in the UK.

The study measured preference­s of men and women from Bogota, and surroundin­g small towns asking questions related to health, access to media, education, and exposure to violence.

Martha Lucia Borras-guevara, who led the research, said: “We might have only found a significan­t effect for women’s preference­s since women, relative to men, invest more time and energy in their offspring, hence there would be a strong selective pressure to recognise any facial cues in men relating to a violent or dangerous dispositio­n.”

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