Anyone who has experienced the “joy” of being cheated on knows that the discovery of such behavior (whether a one-night stand in Vegas or a full blown affair) is pretty much the worst feeling in the world.
If you’ve been burned in the past, odds are, you’ve not only developed a bit of a protective layer, but you’re going to be hyper alert in identifying who may stray when choosing potential partners.
When it comes to cheating, there are many factors that may influence somebody’s decision to cheat – from feeling unvalued, to undeniable temptation and feeding one’s ego (it happens). But new research reveals that how you look may influence whether or not you remain monogamous in a relationship – and no, it isn’t based on how good looking you are.
According to a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, males with a high facial width-to-height ratio (FWHR) – those with wide faces – may have higher sex drives and could be more likely to cheat on their partners.The research is a combination of two studies conducted by researchers from Nipissing University, Simon Fraser University, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the University of Ottawa. The first study involved 145 heterosexual students – 69 males and 76 females – from a mid-size Canadian university who were currently in relationships.
Researchers measured the dimensions of the participants’ faces from facial photographs and had them complete questionnaires surrounding their sexual drive. The FWHR was calculated by dividing the bi-zygomatic width of the face by the distance between the upper lip and the eyebrow. The results revealed that those with higher FWHRs on average reported higher sex drives.
A second study involved 314 students from another Canadian university. In addition to measuring the FWHRs and sex drives in the same manner, participants also completed a questionnaire designed to measure attitudes towards infidelity and the likelihood of cheating. Like the first, the second study identified a correlation between FWHR, but also an association between high FWHR and unrestricted sociosexuality. What does that mean? Those with wider faces were apparently more interested in casual sex and less interested in “relationship sex.” Among the men, those with wider faces were also more likely to cheat.
The reasoning, according to researchers, is that facial structure could be an indication of hormone exposure during key periods of development, like when potential cheater was a fetus. Researchers point to previous studies that suggest that increased exposure to sex hormones like testosterone can result in more masculine features (like a wider face) and more aggressive attitudes and behaviour.
Therefore, a wider face could be an indication of more hormone exposure, which could result in a higher sex drive and an increased likelihood to cheat. Of course, when it comes to face shape, there are other factors at play other than hormones (i.e. good, old-fashioned genetics). Furthermore, the fact that the study involved university students could also affect attitudes toward cheating (how serious are university relationships really these days?) and isn’t reflective of society in general. Let’s not forget that no everyone is entirely honest when answering surveys, especially when the subject matter is sexual in nature. Not to mention, the findings don’t prove actual causation.
So, if you meet a guy with a wide face, you may not want to write him off right away, but keep the research in mind. Personally, there are probably way more important factors to consider when it comes to likelihood of cheating than face width. Out of the people I spoke to, reasons for cheating involved everything from a lack of emotional or physical connection at home, to subconsciously falling in love with a coworker and even revenge.
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just the guys who cheat – the ladies can be just as big of culprits. According to data from Ashley Madison, the reasons women stray involve an inability to orgasm with their spouse, their affair partner is more educated than their spouse and that they have unfulfilled fantasies, among others. Women are also more likely to cheat after they have had kids, according to the cheating-facilitating site.
These days, it’s easier than ever to both cheat and get caught for cheating thanks to modern technology. According to the cheaters on Ashley Madison, Facebook is the number one online platform of choice for those seeking affairs, followed – surprisingly – by professional networking site LinkedIn.
At the end of the day, the reality is that if someone wants to cheat, she or he will find a way to make it happen. Before it does, what I’ve learned is that the best thing to do in relationships is to have weekly “check-ins;” or an open dialogue of likes, dislikes, what’s working and what’s not, before minor issues can become major ones.