Why Women Love Bad Boys (It’s Because of Their Faces)

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There is a site (better known as the homepage on both my personal and work computers) which displays the most rugged, tough, and chiseled male hotties that have been arrested in recent history. Sporting strong chins, baby blues and “devil-may-care” attitudes, these bros do not seem to be phased in the least that they have just been arrested. On the contrary they display a very IDGAF indignance.

So is there a correlation between the rugged good looks of these saucy minxes and their criminal behavior? And why are we still attracted to them? In his article for The Atlantic, Hayden Higgins examines the common thread in all of these images: the influence of testosterone in the suspects’ facial features, noting “Facial width and finger ratio have been proposed as proxies for testosterone levels, and both have been used predict to antisocial behaviors ranging from cheating in games to verbal and physical aggression—just the kind of mischief that landed our Tumblr sweethearts a late-night date with the sheriff.”

Women on average, “prefer men with faces that are more masculine—i.e., more testosterone-inflected—than average, at least for sexual relationships.” And scientists believe that  “like a peacock’s tail, more masculine faces signal underlying genetic strength. Presumably, these strong men are better able to get what they want—food, women, status—through aggression.” Historically, direct confrontation was a winning strategy, and even though we now rely on social institutions to resolve conflict, aggression continues to accompany masculinity.

So some of these anti-social behaviors (like the kind that got these sultry dudes in trouble) are a result of  anti-social traits that have persisted to provide their owners a reproductive advantage. As Higgins notes, “Consider not just the bedroom but also the boardroom, where dominant, masculine physical characteristics are still privileged over merit.”

So the next time you meet a dude with a strong brow and a bad attitude, know that there is a small chance that he’s not a criminal and go ahead and give him your number! What the worst that could happen? There’s nothing wrong with being a hit on Tumblr.


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