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Sexual Intentions May Be In The Face

Happy Young CoupleThink that you can hide your sexual intentions by playing it coy? Think again.

People’s faces may give away more about their sexual intentions than even they realize, according to new research.

According to the study, men who were most open to casual sex were generally perceived as being more masculine-looking, with facial features that generally included squarer jaws, larger nose and smaller eyes. This finding confirms that women see masculine men as more likely to be unfaithful.

The research also showed that women who were open to short-term sexual relationships were usually seen by others as more attractive. These women tended to have wide eyes and large lips, and were usually viewed as more attractive by men.

Men generally prefer women who they perceive are open to short-term sexual relationships, while women are usually interested in men who appear to have potential to be long-term relationship material.

The research provides additional data into how people can use their perceptions to make more informed partner selection depending on the type of relationship they are pursuing and is a significant step in further understanding the evolution of partner choice.

“This shows that these initial impressions may be part of how we assess potential mates,” said author Lynda Boothroyd from Durham University.

Participants in the research were asked to judge the attractiveness and attitudes to sex of the opposite sex from the facial photographs of people in their early 20s. These perceptual judgments were then compared with the actual attitudes and behaviors of the individuals in the photographs.

Seventy-two percent of the participants could accurately judge the sexual motives of men and women in their 20s simply by looking at photographs of their faces.

It was found that the 72% of the 153 participants could generally correctly judge from photographs the potential suitor for short-term relationship.

The study was published in the March 2008 issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

Source: Evolution and Human Behavior

Sexual Intentions May Be In The Face

Psych Central News Editor

APA Reference
News Editor, P. (2018). Sexual Intentions May Be In The Face. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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