November 18, 2008
Scars Make Men More Attractive To Women

Only for short term relationships women prefer scarred men.

Men with facial scars are more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships, scientists at the University of Liverpool have found.

It was previously assumed that in Western cultures scarring was an unattractive facial feature and in non-Western cultures they were perceived as a sign of maturity and strength. Scientists at Liverpool and Stirling University, however, have found that Western women find scarring on men attractive and may associate it with health and bravery.

What I wonder: Do the scars really increase attraction? Or are more masculine men more likely to get into fights and other dangerous behavior and have facial scars as result?

Researchers investigated how scarring might impact on mate choice for men and women seeking both long-term and short-term relationships. They 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.

Dr Rob Burriss, from the University's School of Biological Sciences, explains: "Male and female participants were shown images of faces that displayed scarring from injury or illness, and were 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.

What I'd like to know: Do more feminine or more masculine women have a greater attraction to men who have facial scars? I'm expecting the most feminine women to feel the most attraction to scarred men.

Roissy's Love In The Time Of Game has me thinking Darwinian thoughts about the attraction between the sexes. Were scarred men in the past seen as proven fighters? How was this female pattern of attraction selected for?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 November 18 11:16 PM  Brain Sexuality


Comments
dentin said at November 19, 2008 6:33 AM:

You've probably seen or heard of 'the pickup artist' show on VH1. The host of that show, a pickup artist named Mystery, has spent a lot of time coming up with an evolutionary foundation for why certain pickup techniques work, and his stuff makes a lot of sense. Other counter-intuitive examples are that you're much more likely to succeed if you claim you're from out of town and only staying a few days, as well as snubbing extremely attractive women early in a conversation. A lot of his method of pickup revolves around playing the part of "leader of the tribe" and "risk taking alpha male".

Anyway, my point was that there is a huge body of knowledge out there on this topic, a lot of it 'field tested'. Unfortunately, there are very few people who are willing to talk about it outside of the pickup community, as it's considered unethical by the bulk of the population. It's interesting to see science finally starting to catch up and consider it a valid field of study.

Mthson said at November 19, 2008 9:45 AM:

The article I read on this study stated the scars were digitally added. Chicken pox or acne type scars that were added didn't have the same effect as injury/athleticism type scars that were added.

Spaulding said at November 21, 2008 12:04 PM:

Assume most facial scars are from combat (not currently, but within say, the past million years), and most combat is within a species rather than between different species (predator/prey attack and defense is different than combat, and could lead to different wound patterns). Most intra-species combat is related to territory, mating, food; i.e. dominance. In most species, dominance fights are generally non-fatal. Have humans been an exception?

If fatal dominance combat is common, facial scars would imply that you have survived dominance combat - thus being a reliable indicator of high social status, genetic quality, and resource access.

Steve Sailer said at November 24, 2008 2:00 AM:

In the first few decades of the 20th Century, dueling scars were considered very fashionable on men. It comes up a lot in books about early Hollywood. Fraternities at the famous U. of Heidelberg practices fencing constantly and had devised (mostly) nonlethal swordfighting techniques that tended to leave facial scars ... because chicks dig scars.

J-mIZZLE said at September 7, 2010 10:29 AM:

I have had a facial scar for the passed 6 months and I don't like seeing it in the mirror but everyone else seems to think it adds character. And chicks seem to "dig" because it shows you can take a blow and your not affraid to stick up for yourself.

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