Move over Steve Harvey. Sisters looking for a relationship may want to take a few notes from Mother Nature. According to a new study, men looking to pursue long-term relationships are more interested in your face than your body.
Researchers Jaime C. Confer, Carin Perilloux, and David M. Buss published their findings in the paper, “More Than Just a Pretty Face: Men’s Priority Shifts Toward Bodily Attractiveness in Short-Term Versus Long-Term Mating Contexts.” During their research, Confer, Perilloux, and Buss surveyed 375 heterosexual college students and showed them pictures of people with their head and body covered. The researchers then asked the students to think of the person as a short- or long-term mate, then gave the participants the option of looking at the head or the body of the image, but not both. After viewing the image the subjects were asked to rate the importance of the face or the body, depending on which they chose to look at.
According to the study, men made a distinction between the face and the body based on their intent (either a long- or short-term relationship). On the other hand, women treated the body and the face equally. The study reports that of the male participants told to think of the person in the picture as a long-term partner, only 25 percent chose to see the body, however, double that, 51 percent, picked the body if they were looking for a short-term partner. So basically, men looking for a jump-off are more likely to choose women with bangin’ bodies, while those looking to settle-down want a woman with a pretty face.
Researches explained that the differences in men could be due to the fact that a woman’s face and body signify different things. The face signifies youth, beauty, and long-term reproductive value, while the body signifies current fertility and sexual prowess.
Roy F. Baumeister, the author of a new book, Is There Anything Good About Men?, offered another take. “The face is a signifier of emotion and character,” said Baumeister. “Men who want a long-term relationship aren’t just interested in reproductive value; they’re also looking for emotional intimacy.”
So does this study mean we can take a break from going hard in the gym? Not quite. While the study concluded that men looked beyond a woman’s body when thinking long-term, physical appearance and an attractive physique were both major factors in initially attracting a mate.