Loading...
The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Are 'Macho' Men More Loyal?

Good news for wide-faced guys.

By Kristin Wong Jun 6, 2012 3:54PM

Photo: Digital Vision/Getty ImagesMacho guys are really having a good year. The general stereotype of "masculine" looking men is that they're aggressive, thrill-seeking bad boys—not exactly the type that would win your mother's approval. But science has discovered that these testosterone-laden lads may actually be more cooperative, loyal, and responsible than previously thought.

You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes science makes it difficult with its studies linking personality to face shape, body type, symmetry, etc. Past research has shown that men with "masculine" faces—wide, prominent jaw lines and small eyes—are often more aggressive because they have higher levels of testosterone.

"Men with wider faces have typically been portrayed as 'bad to the bone," Dr. Michael Stirrat of the University of St. Andrews said in a statement.

He thought there was more to it than that. So he and his colleagues commissioned a study with University of St. Andrews students. Dr. Stirrat gave the students money to play a group game in which they could choose to either freeload from other players or risk their own money to benefit the group as a whole. Half of the students were told that their winnings would be compared with a rival school. The others were told their winnings would be compared with other groups from St. Andrews. Stirrat found that the wider the man's face, the more likely he was to gamble his own money to benefit the group as a whole in order to beat out the rival.

"It was surprising that our predictions were confirmed," Dr. Stirrat reported. "When we mentioned Edinburgh University, our St Andrews participants with wider faces were more cooperative than the other men."

It should be mentioned that the guys were less cooperative when the rivalry wasn't mentioned. But when a third party was involved, the dudes seemed to be self-sacrificing in order to benefit their home team. That loyalty makes macho men sound especially appealing when it comes to dating.

And that's not the only alluring personality trait machos may possess. Another recent study involving "masculine" men found that they're also more responsible in the bedroom. Sari van Anders, a behavioral neuroendocrinologist at the University of Michigan, found that men with higher testosterone levels had more positive attitudes about safe sex. They were also more likely to have protected sex with their partners.

"There's this body of research showing that people often view safer sex behaviors and people who engage in them in a somewhat negative light," van Anders said.

She explained that men with higher testosterone levels are generally seen as risk takers, and her study seemed to contradict that.

"One of the things that is interesting about these results is that they're one of the first to demonstrate a link between higher testosterone and less risk-taking in any domain."

But before you go out looking for the widest-faced man you can find, wait. Because another study found that wide-faced men were three times more likely to lie and about nine times more likely to cheat than narrow-faced men. Not exactly the qualities you want in a partner.

Professor Michael Haselhuhn of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee commissioned the study and said the "findings suggest that some men are simply predisposed to act unethically…"

Some researchers debated the research; others said it mirrored their own findings.

Overall, these contradictions seem to show that, no matter how much research is conducted, people are too complex to be put into one box, no matter how wide their faces are.

But what do you think? Have you dated a macho guy? How did he treat you? 

Photo: Digital Vision/Getty Images
More on love & sex from MSN Living:

10 Ways to Improve Your Love Life (Right Now!)
The Secrets to Great Sex (in 50 Words or Less)
5 Sexy Steps to Get Out of Your Date Rut

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Vacation tips for couples

    How to go on vacation without breaking up

    It’s not that you don’t find every little thing about your partner endearing and adorable; it’s just that it would have been really, really nice if that map could have been consulted three hours ago.

  • Sign placement/"10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos"/Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

    10 outrageous wedding photos

    The typical wedding: A white dress, tiered cake, floral centerpieces and a cute flower girl -- you know the drill. Every once in a while, though, a couple trades in tradition for a quirky, never-seen-that-before idea. Here are a few of the most out-there wedding photos that made us do a double take.

  • Hot wedding trends for fall

    9 hot wedding trends for fall

    There's a lot to love about weddings this fall, like cocktails served in copper Moscow mule mugs, industrial-inspired lighting and pheasant feather details. See what's new!

  • Monique Pean Mineraux diamond and rose gold ring, $3,400; barneys.com

    Why single ladies are rocking a wedding ring

    Do you have to be engaged to sport a ring with bling?

  • ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images //  ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images (​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images)

    Majority of Americans are single

    124.6 million haven't gotten hitched.

  • least expensive places to get married

    These are the 25 least expensive places to get married in America

    Even though the national average wedding is $29,858, that’s just an average. If you live in a smaller state like Idaho where the average wedding costs $16,159, you may find yourself saving a little more than half of the national spend! Check out some of the other least expensive cities to get married in below:

  • M Swiet Productions, Getty Images // M Swiet Productions, Getty Images (M Swiet Productions, Getty Images)

    Americans have nostalgia for summer romance

    Summer is winding down, but the ubiquitous summer romance lives on.

  • 8 signs it's time to break up

    8 signs it’s definitely time to break up

    For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.

  • Actor/"Why we love an older man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love an older man

    He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.

  • Actor/"Why we love a younger man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love a younger man

    While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.

  • Other woman (Courtesy YourTango)

    5 reasons the other woman slept with your man

    Have you ever wondered what the 'other woman' was thinking?

  • Apple picking

    6 fun fall date ideas

    So fall is coming and you need some romantic inspiration now that long walks on the beach are out of the question. Well look no further! From apple picking to pumpkin carving, these are some great fall date ideas from girls just like you!

buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
Loading...
the heart beat
Loading...