Infidelity might be a strong, unpleasant word, but it does happen. Nobody likes to be cheated on in a relationship and more often than not we tend to blame men because we think they cheat more often than women do. However, scientists have now found that there's a more detailed explanation behind this. It isn't that men cheat more than women do, it's just that women are better at hiding it. Yes, turns out a woman can tell that a man is lying just by looking at his face whereas men are rather unlikely to be able to tell if a woman is cheating on them.
For the study, researchers from the University of Western Australia took a group of 1500 people. These people were then asked if they had been unfaithful to their partners and were then showed pictures of 189 Caucasian adults (men and women). The people were then asked to rate the images on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 meant least likely to cheat and 10 meant most likely to cheat. It was found that, "both men and women were accurate in assessing men's, but not women's, likelihood to cheat and poach."
Through this research, the scientists hoped to find whether it was possible to identify possible poachers not just from the opposite sex but also from the same sex. However, it was found that although men could identify other men who were cheating they couldn't do the same for women. And even when women tried to judge whether other women were being unfaithful, they were still unable to accurately pinpoint the results.
"Taken together, both men and women showed above-chance accuracy for men's faces but not women's faces. Therefore, perceived unfaithfulness may indeed contain some kernel of truth in male faces," the researchers wrote. "Surprisingly, even though more attractive men were rated as more unfaithful, they were less likely to engage in actual mate poaching," said the study. So, while people perceived masculinity in different ways to figure out whether a man was cheating, researchers even found that less attractive men were more likely to cheat.
"Although men are marginally more likely to betray infidelity with their features, it is still difficult to spot possible cheats from one individual's face, said Yong Zhi Foo. If we are to rely solely on our first impressions to detect cheaters/poachers, then we will make substantial errors," said one researcher. "Our results must not be taken to mean that first impressions can be used in any everyday situations," he added. Stay tuned for more updates.