A recent piece of UK research has found that women rate men with small facial scars more attractive than the same men without scars. The study was carried out in Liverpool and Stirling. 115 women and 64 men rated the attractiveness of eight strangers of the opposite sex. Half were given original face shots, the other half viewed images that had scars artistically added via computer imaging.
The scars made no difference to how attractive the women were, but scarred men ranked 5.7 percentage points higher.
The interesting thing, is why? The study doesn’t tell you this so we’ll have to make some guesses. I have said elsewhere that evolution is the key to attractiveness. What is the advantage of a partner with a scar?
I think what is going on here is that the scars on the men are a sign of bravery and risk-taking -the sort of guy that would be an effective provider, handy for chasing wooly mammoths across the tundra.
So do I advocate going out and getting into a fight to make yourself more attractive to women? Well maybe, but you only get a 5% advantage. And the signal you are sending to women is also being sent to potential employers and the police, so you may find that there are some drawbacks as well.
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The study appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.