What Women Look For In A Man's Face, According To Research

Here are the things women notice on a man's face when they find him attractive.

Man covering his face Yulia Cherry/ Shutterstock

As we've mentioned before, men are pretty simple beings when it comes to sizing up who they are attracted to.

Some people even narrow a sexual decision happening in as little as ten seconds — a simple once over, yay/nay, and then off to a fantasy football draft.

Us ladies? Blame it on feminine intuition or inherent pickiness, but a study proves that women are multi-layered when deciding aesthetic attractiveness.


It is a two-step process, which makes us a bit more complex, and we also know how to keep it in our pants and not go drooling after the first pretty thing that we see.

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What women look for in a man's face

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In a 2009 study in an issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology a group of researchers sought to analyze what exactly goes on in our pretty little heads when deciding whom we're most attracted to and why.

The researchers rounded up 50 heterosexual women and showed them pictures of both men and women. Each woman had to rate on a scale from 1 to 7 as to whether they saw each man as a future date or each man or woman as a future lab partner.

Lab partner? Well, we guess that's a scientist's version of " just a friend." 

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Anyway, the article says "date" and lab partner" were meant to weed out sexual attraction from aesthetic appeal. They theorized women would be more likely to want to splice embryos with someone they find good-looking but not necessarily hot or sexy.


After the results were tallied, the scientists then took the same headshots and split the faces horizontally, shifting both parts away from each other so that the feature was no longer aligned. The scientists then asked the same question — date or lab partner? — to a new group to see if the halved faces had any effect. Would women be less likely to be sexually attracted to split faces?

On the contrary. Instead, they found the dateable pile (i.e. sexually attractive for whatever reason — square jaw, rugged stubble, etc.) was pretty stable. As were any results with the female pictures.

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However, there were some discrepancies with the ladies when deciding who they wanted to see in a lab coat. The split images really affected whom they trusted with their beakers.


The scientists concluded that women are drawn to sexy faces regardless of whether the disjoined square jaw or sweltering eyes are in the wrong place. Yet women need the entire face before truly trusting. Or as they say, women use and can separate "two ways of assessing facial appeal."

Complex creatures, we are indeed.

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Melissa Noble is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about love, relationships, and trending news stories.