December 26, 2006, - 4:48 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
All of those movies, cartoons, TV shows, and other pop culture attacks on men and masculinity are having an effect. People are less trusting of–and attribute bad behavior to–men who look masculine, a new study says.
USA Today reports on research in the academic journal, “Personal Relationships,” based on University of Michigan psychologist Daniel Kruger’s online experiments. 854 undergraduates saw digitally altered, composite photos of men’s faces. Some faces were adjusted to look more masculine, some more feminine.
“People can make snap judgments of other people based on something that’s superficial – just by the way someone’s face looks,” [Kruger] says.
Which One Would You Trust Based on Facial Looks Alone?
His work found that highly masculine faces were judged more likely to get into fights or cheat on their partners. The less masculine versions were thought to be better husbands and good with children. Both men and women chose less masculine faces as dates for their 25-year-old hypothetical daughters. And men selected the less masculine faces to accompany their girlfriends out of town.
But those who are biased against masculine men could be the victim of the propaganda to which they are apparently pre-disposed:
David Buss, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, who was not involved in either study, cautions that quick appraisals might have some merit but also can lead people astray.
“There are lots of very masculine-looking guys who are really nice guys and good dads and also some – I have studied killers – some have these feminine-looking faces and these guys are real (SOBs).”
BTW, USA Today’s print edition showed a pic of Justin Timberlake, within this article, with the caption:
Safety? Justin Timberlake’s [face] may appear less threatening.
Yep, he’s more feminine looking. But I wouldn’t assign any positive behavior to the guy. Remember him and Janet Jackson at the Superbowl? Looks are definitely deceiving.
Tags: BTW, Daniel Kruger, David Buss, Debbie Schlussel All, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Janet Jackson, John Wayne, Justin Timberlake, Michigan, online experiments, President, Psychologist, psychology professor, SOBs, Sylvester Stallone, Texas, University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, USA Today