Women feel good fathers, new study says

Women are more attracted to the masculine guys for short-term flings. But for long-term relationships, they preferred the guys who liked babies, the AP reports.

Men considered more masculine-looking tend to have prominent face bones and squarer jaws, like the actor Mickey Rourke, whereas the men who were deemed to like baby pictures tended to have rounder faces, like Tom Hanks. In a new study, women who were shown pictures of men looking at baby pictures were often able to accurately judge the men's masculinity as well as their interest in babies, the AP reports.

The study included 39 University of Chicago male students age 18 to 33. Researchers measured the men's testosterone levels and asked them to look at baby pictures.

Testosterone is a male hormone. Studies have suggested that testosterone might contribute to facial features such as wide jaws or jutting brows, said University of California, Santa Barbara psychologist James Roney, lead author of the study.

Testosterone also might make men more aggressive. For example, one study found that hockey players with high testosterone levels spent more time in the penalty box. But other studies have found no such link, Roney said.

Experts say women judge a man on his genetic quality and also his willingness to be a good parent for her offspring, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

Studies have shown they use masculine features as a guide to genetic quality. When at their most fertile, they are particularly attracted to men with features such as strong jaws.

However at other times of the month, women prefer more feminine faces as softer features suggest a man will be a good long-term partner and help care for any offspring.

Researchers at St Andrews University have even come up with the face of the perfect man, whose softer feminised features reflected a more nurturing side.

By studying what appealed to women, they concluded that the ideal partner should have a symmetrical face, large deep and expressive eyes, with a straight nose and soft jaw.

This suggests that when it comes to father material, most women would chose Jude Law over the more rugged Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Law has three children - sons Rafferty and Rudy, plus daughter Iris - by ex-wife Sadie Frost.

When they married in 1997, he also took on the role of stepfather to her son Finlay from her previous marriage to musician Gary Kemp.

The latest study set out to see how accurate women were at reading men's faces for the different clues to testosterone levels and interest in children.


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