Women looking for a short-term fling are more likely to be drawn to men like Gerard Butler, Johnny Depp and David Beckham than Adam Levine or Jake Gyllenhaal, according to the findings of a recent study.
After observing more than 150 men and women ages 18 to 32 over the course of several speed dating events, researchers found that men with wider faces were rated as more attractive and dominant among the female participants.
On the flipside, because a wider face has also been linked to negative traits like aggression, the study hypothesizes that women are less likely to consider the same men suitable candidates for long-term relationships.
"Our study shows that within three minutes of meeting in real life, women find more dominant, wider-faced men attractive for short-term relationships, and want to go on another date with them," said lead author Katherine Valentine of Singapore
For their research, scientists observed the three-minute interactions between men and women participating in the speed dating events.
Computer software was used to measure the men's facial width. The wider-faced men were also rated as more dominant in an independent survey.
The findings were published in the latest issue of Psychological Science.
Meanwhile, the same could be said for male preferences. Researchers from the University of Stirling and the University of
Glasgow found that men in relationships prefer women with more feminine features when looking for a fling. The findings were published the British Journal of Psychology.
Previous research has also shown that men with larger faces -- associated with higher levels of testosterone -- are seen as more aggressive, less trustworthy and more selfish than men with sperlimmer face structure.
Last fall, another study out of the University of California, Riverside, found that men with wider faces can even provoke others to act more selfishly.
Also on HuffPost
A just-published study
published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
suggests that marriage may help improve cancer survival rates. According to the findings, men and women who were married were about 20 percent less likely to die of cancer during the three-year study period, regardless of how advanced the disease was (although it's worth noting that the benefits appeared to be stronger for men).
The "why" isn't clear, and the study does not establish cause and effect, but researchers hypothesize that having someone who cares for you and who helps you understand your diagnosis might be behind the connection. And it's not the first study to show a link; a paper published in November 2012
found that socially isolated women were more likely to die of breast cancer than their counterparts with close social ties.
Last spring, the same researchers who looked at how social ties may influence breast cancer survival published a study that found that breast cancer patients who regularly have positive social interactions -- and who have strong support overall -- are better able to deal with the associated emotional stress and pain of cancer
. "Social support helps with physical symptoms," study researcher Candyce Kroenke, an investigator with Kaiser Permanent's Division of Research said in a statement
As Time reports
, a 2011 study that followed a group of more than 1,000 older adults, (whose average age was roughly 80) found that the most social seniors had a 70 percent reduction in their rates of cognitive decline over several years, versus their least social counterparts. According to Time,
the same team of researchers previously found that sociability also decreased the likelihood of becoming physically disabled.
A 2010 review of roughly 150 studies measuring the frequency of human interaction and health outcomes, found that having strong social connections can improve a person's odds of survival by 50 percent. Conversely, so-called "low social interaction" was found to be more harmful than not exercising, twice as harmful as obesity, and the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day Psych Central reported
. Why? “When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks,” one of the study authors told that publication.
When it comes to relationships and weight, the overall picture is a bit complicated: Some studies suggest that women are likely to gain weight after getting married
. But as The Daily News
reports, a 2012 study found that friendships can influence weight in more positive ways. High school students were more likely to lose weight, or gain it at a slower rate, if they had a slimmer group of friends. However, that same study also found the opposite to be true: students with friends heavier than they were were more likely to gain weight.
What we take away from this is that surrounding yourself with people who have healthy lifestyle habits can help you emulate them. Worry less about how small or large your waistline is, and more about using your social connections to motivate yourself to exercise and eat well.
A BabyCenter poll
of more than 20,000 moms found that once women entered into motherhood, 83 percent said they ate more healthfully, or were trying to improve their diets, while 65 percent said they were exercising more (or planned to) and 69 percent said they were keeping a closer eye on their mental health. That last one is extremely important, as motherhood can also have negative effects on women's mental health, namely, through postpartum depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, between 8 and 19 percent of women report experiencing frequent postpartum depression symptoms.
As LiveScience reports,
a preliminary study presented last August found a link between marriage and reduced cardiovascular risk factors, like high blood pressure, among women specifically. And the longer the marriage, the bigger the benefits appeared to be: Every 10 years of continuous marriage was tied to a 13 percent decrease in cardiovascular risk, LiveScience explains