The return of physiognomy

It has been found, for example, that women can predict a man’s
interest in infant children from his face. Trustworthiness also shows
up, as does social dominance. The latest example comes from a paper
just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society by
Justin Carré and Cheryl McCormick, of Brock University in Ontario,

The thesis developed by Mr Carré and Dr McCormick is that
aggressiveness is predictable from the ratio between the width of a
person’s face and its height. Their reason for suspecting this is that
this ratio differs systematically between men and women (men have wider
faces) and that the difference arises during puberty, when sex hormones
are reshaping people’s bodies. The cause seems to be exposure to
testosterone, which is also known to make people aggressive. It seems
reasonable, therefore, to predict a correlation between aggression and
face shape.

The bottom line is that a wide face predicts male aggression.  The study is based on photos of hockey players and measures of their combativeness.  Here is the full story.  Here is an Oprah magazine article on how women can camouflage a wide face with the right haircut.


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