A group of scientists at the University of Western Australia published the results of the study, according to which, having studied the male face, it is possible with a high degree of certainty to judge the propensity of its owner to sexual infidelity. At the same time, scientists say, women's faces do not give the opportunity for such an assessment.
We often judge by the faces of people about how much they can be trusted, but the accuracy of such judgments remains a big question. Australian scientists have suggested that the ability to determine the propensity of a partner to be unfaithful may be an evolutionary skill.
In terms of evolution, the unfaithful partner is a great danger, because in the long term it is fraught with the loss of important resources or the partner. It is not surprising that the question of sexual fidelity has become crucial in maintaining married pairs' ties.
In a study published by the Royal society of London, scientists concluded that to determine the probability of treason with an accuracy higher than the accidental hit can be on the faces of men, but not women.
Scientists collected information from 189 people about whether they were unfaithful or had a sexual relations with their partners, and then checked whether other participants in the study to determine this by appearance.
Volunteers evaluated the photos of the propensity to be unfaithful and the attractiveness of people on a scale from 1 to 10. In total, 1516 people participated in the survey: 592 men and 924 women.
Since it is important to assess not only the likelihood of a partner unfaithfulness but also the threat from competitors to retain a partner, the subjects were also shown photos of people of the same sex and asked to assess how likely they are to be unfaithful themselves or enter into a relationship with someone else's partner.
The results were disappointing for men: participants of both sexes with a higher degree of accuracy guessed unfaithful partners among them.
Men also demonstrated certain abilities in physiognomy, but their results in predicting women's propensity to unfaithfulness were much more modest. If more than 14 per cent of the respondents were able to identify incorrect (and associated with other partners) men, the percentage of hits with women was about five times lower – less than 4 %.
«Together, men and women have demonstrated a percentage of guessing higher than the random hit among men's faces, but not women's, – the study said, – therefore, in the case of men's faces, how true we perceive people can really contain a fraction of the truth.»
Although the percentage of guessing was relatively low, scientists believe that it may have evolutionary significance as an adaptation mechanism to identify potential unfaithful persons or hunters for other partners. Masculine features, according to the authors of the study, are highly likely to indicate a tendency to sexual infidelity.
In their works of previous years, they found some connection between the presence of a man's pronounced masculine facial features and his tendency to infidelity. Thanks to this connection, a woman, looking at a man, can subconsciously and with a high degree of accuracy to determine how much you can trust him.
The works of Australian scientists, however, have already received their portion of criticism: one of their studies journalists dubbed «the most useless study of 2019» and laughed at the use of the term «poaching behavior» in relation to men who commit sexual treason.
Critics from the scientific world noted the controversial definition of «masculine facial features», and pointed out that the study analyzed photos of only white men.
In comments to the study, the scientists themselves noted that despite the fact that the percentage of guessing was statistically significant for research purposes, it is very low in order to draw conclusions about how people are prone to commit sexual treason in life.
«Trying to determine who could potentially commit sexual treason or enter into a relationship with someone else's partner, relying solely on the impression of men's faces, is fraught with a high risk of error,» Australian scientists concluded.