ITANG, ETHIOPIA - DECEMBER 21: Nuer tribe man with gaar facial markings, Gambela, Ethiopia on December 21, 2013 in Itang, Ethiopia. (Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)
Health - Wellness
The Unexpected Facial Feature That Makes Men More Attractive
When someone asks a person what they find attractive about a man, the usual responses are eyes, body, smile — but there may be something else catching their attention. A study published in Personality & Individual Differences indicates that light facial scarring makes men seem more attractive.
The prevailing theory is that mild scarring indicates a strong, brave, and more risk-taking personality — all desirable characteristics for a short-term partner. These traits also show a more "masculine" character. However, intentional scarring, like tattoos, or scars sustained through a violent encounter, are perceived differently than unintentional scars that may indicate a past illness.
The increase in attractiveness seems to only apply to short-term relationships, as men without scars seem gentler and, therefore, would make more caring partners. However, there are some cultures, like a tribe in Venezuela, which accentuate battle scars from ritualized fights with face paint, emphasizing the man's strength and endurance.