London: Research has shown that women can judge a man’s fidelity simply by studying his face.
Signs of a male who is prone to cheating include classic masculine features, such as a wide, angular jaw, a square chin and a prominent brow, the Daily Mail reported.
Women with wandering eye, however, can rest easy, as the study showed men to be poor at reading female faces.
The finding comes from Australian researchers who began by recruiting almost 200 volunteers and photographing them.
The men and women were also asked how attractive they thought they were and whether they had cheated when in a relationship in the past.
They were also asked about poaching - or embarking on an affair with someone who was already in a relationship.
While they might have been single themselves, this sort of behaviour could be a sign of “low commitment to monogamous values,” the research team said.
Sixty eight strangers were then shown the head and shoulders shots and asked to rate how likely they were to be unfaithful.
The women were “modestly accurate” at picking out male love-rats.
Analysis showed that they weren’t simply drawn to faces they felt were generally not to be trusted. Instead, they were linking masculinity with infidelity.
In contrast, the men were poor at picking out the women who had a history of cheating.
The study’s co-author, Professor Leigh Simmons, said that females may have become better at the task because they have more to lose if their lover leaves them holding the baby.
The University of Western Australia research team summed up: “We conclude that impressions of sexual faithfulness from faces have a kernel of truth, at least for women, and that they may help people assess the quality of potential mates about whom they have minimal behavioural information.”
The study has been published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.