If you are anything like me (e.g. your gut response when a stranger comes up to you and your friends and starts hitting on them is to roll your eyes and start pointedly texting), your friends are constantly ripping on your tendency to judge men by first impressions.
Well, take heart, O Judgmental One: a study from the University of Western Australia published in Biology Letters, asked participants to judge a photo subject of the opposite sex—who provided researchers with a background on their fidelity history—on faithfulness and trustworthiness. 62% of women accurately judged whether the man had a history of unfaithfulness solely by looking at a photo of his face, sans even the most basic of personality or physical cues to go on. Spooky.
Meanwhile, men received a mere 23% accuracy trait because they chose the most conventionally attractive subjects as the cheaters, which turned out not to be the case. The head of the study, an evolutionary biologist, has a hypothesis about this: "One potential reason could be that males of most animals, including humans, tend to be less discriminating of their partners because they have less to lose if that partner is unfaithful." Also spooky! And vaguely depressing.
One blind spot: the study reports that women used "masculine" facial features as a tell-tale sign of infidelity, but the features themselves aren't specified. Therefore, allow your imaginations to run wild and suggest some possible cheater-faced male characters in pop culture: I nominate Futurama's Zapp Branagan, Danny Zuko, Popeye, and Mickey Mouse. He's just so SMUG.
Image via EDHAR/Shutterstock