People with square faces are seen as more AGGRESSIVE than those with oval faces, study finds


From Zac Efron to Margot Robbie, many of the world’s most beautiful celebrities are known for their square faces.

Now, a new study claims that people with this face shape are seen as more aggressive than those with oval faces, such as Rihanna and Ben Affleck.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales measured the facial-width-to-height ratio (FWHR) of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces, before asking people to rate them for aggression.

The results revealed that faces with a high FWHR (square faces) were rated as more aggressive than people with low FWHR (oval faces) – particularly if they belonged to young men.

Actor Zac Efron has a short and wide face

Actor Margot Robbie is known for her square face

Actor Margot Robbie is known for her square face

From Zac Efron to Margot Robbie, many of the world’s most beautiful celebrities are known for their square faces

Researchers from the University of New South Wales measured the facial-width-to-height ratio (FWHR) of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces, before asking people to rate them for aggression. Pictured: averages of the individual face images used in the study (identify of individuals have been protected)

Researchers from the University of New South Wales measured the facial-width-to-height ratio (FWHR) of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces, before asking people to rate them for aggression. Pictured: averages of the individual face images used in the study (identify of individuals have been protected)

Researchers from the University of New South Wales measured the facial-width-to-height ratio (FWHR) of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces, before asking people to rate them for aggression. Pictured: averages of the individual face images used in the study (identify of individuals have been protected)

What is facial-width-to-height ratio?

 

In the study, researchers from the University of New South Wales measured the facial-width-to-height ratio (FWHR) of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces.

FWHR can be calculated as the width of a face divided by the vertical distance between the highest point of the upper lip and the highest point of the eyelids. 

In the study, the team set out to understand whether face shape is linked to perceived aggression.

‘Humans extract a great deal of socially relevant information from people’s faces and make social inferences about unfamiliar people after a single glance,’ the researchers wrote in their study, published in Royal Society Open Science.

‘FWHR is a cue that has been linked to a variety of social inferences.’

FWHR can be calculated as the width of a face divided by the vertical distance between the highest point of the upper lip and the highest point of the eyelids.

In the study, the researchers measured the FWHR of 17,607 passport images of male and female faces, ranging in age from six to 93 years old.

The measurements revealed that male faces had a significantly higher FWHR to females at ages 27-40.

However, the opposite was true from age 40, with female faces found to have a significantly higher FWHR to males from this age.

In the next part of the study, the researchers asked 121 participants to rate 1,893 of the passport images for aggression.

The results revealed that faces with high FWHR were perceived as more aggressive than people with low FWHR faces – particularly if they belonged to men.

The researchers suggest that young male square faces may serve as a signal of physical strength, which is why we perceive them as more aggressive.

‘This pattern in young adults is consistent with the view that FWHR is an evolutionarily important cue to physical formidability, as sexual dimorphism in this age band aligns with the period of life most commonly associated with mate selection and intrasexual competition,’ the researchers wrote.

Rihanna has an oval face shape

Rihanna has an oval face shape

Ben Affleck has a low FWHR face

Ben Affleck has a low FWHR face

The study claims that people with this head shape are seen as more aggressive than those with oval faces, such as Rihanna and Ben Affleck

However, older square female faces may simply be a result of age-related changes, which is why we don’t see them as more aggressive, according to the team.

‘It is possible that there are broader physical changes in ageing that explain the pattern,’ they added.

‘For example, because BMI is moderately correlated with the FWHR, one possibility is that age-related BMI changes are different for males and females.’ 

The findings align with previous studies, which found that FWHR is also correlated with several other typically masculine traits.

‘Studies show that men with relatively larger FWHRs have larger biceps, are better physical fighters, and report greater dominance and aggressive behaviour including domestic violence,’ the researchers added.

The study comes shortly after researchers from Nipissing University in Canada found that men and women with short and wide faces are more sexually motivated than people with other dimensions.

Men with square faces are not only have a higher sex drive, but they are also more likely to cheat, the research found. 

Men with short and wide faces have higher sex drives and are more likely to cheat, claim scientists 

Men with short and wide faces have higher sex drives and are more likely to cheat. Pictured: Wayne Rooney

Men with short and wide faces have higher sex drives and are more likely to cheat. Pictured: Wayne Rooney

Men with short and wide faces have higher sex drives and are more likely to cheat. Pictured: Wayne Rooney

Researchers from Nipissing University in Canada looked at how different facial features affect sexual behaviours.

Their study involved 314 undergraduate students who were in romantic relationships.

Each student completed a questionnaire about their interpersonal behaviour, sex drive, sexual orientation, the chances they’d consider cheating, and their sociosexual orientation. 

This is a measure of how comfortable you are with the concept of casual sex. 

The researchers also took a picture of each student to analyse their FWHR.

The results showed that men and women with a high FWHR – square and wide faces – reported a greater sex drive than others.

Men with this face shape were also found to be more easy-going when it comes to casual sex and would consider being unfaithful to their partners.



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Written by bourbiza

bourbiza is an entertainment reporter for iltuoiphone News and is based in Los Angeles.

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