Will You Cheat? How the Shape of Your Face Reveals Your Sex Drive

09_20_man smiling_01
The shape of your face can reveal a lot about your sex life, from your sex drive to whether will you cheat. Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Updated | You can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their face— their age, their gender, and even their emotional state. Now, researchers at Nipissing University in Canada, say facial features can also reveal a person's sex drive and how likely they are to cheat in relationships.

The study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that both men and women with shorter, wider faces were more sexually motivated, meaning they have higher libidos. The researchers gauged the wideness of a face using a ratio of width to height. Men with very wide faces were more ready for sex without attachments. They also considered being unfaithful to their significant others.

Related: Moving In With Your Boyfriend Can Kill Your Sex Drive, Study Finds

"Together, these findings suggest that facial characteristics might convey important information about human sexual motivations," Steven Arnocky, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Arnocky and his colleagues already knew that the dimensions of a person's face are linked to certain psychological and behavioral traits. For example, a 2014 study published in Psychological Science found that women perceived men with wider faces as more dominant and more attractive within three minutes of face-to-face speed dating. The women saw a high FWHR as more dominant and having more romantic potential, but only for short-term relationships.

That finding prompted the researchers to investigate whether FWHR could predict sex drive among both men and women. In two separate studies, Arnocky, a psychologist focused on sex and human behavior, examined correlations between sexuality and facial features. In the first study, the researchers recruited 145 undergraduate students in committed relationships and asked them about their sex lives—how often they had sex, how often they wanted to have sex, whether they had sex with people other than their significant other. They also took photographs so they could compare the responses with the width of the faces. In the second study, an extended version of the first, 314 students answered additional questions about sociosexual orientation (attitudes toward casual sex, for example) and intended infidelity.

According to their report, FWHR was significantly correlated with sex drive. Just by knowing an individual's FWHR, the researchers could predict what that person reported about their sex drive. The link held true for both genders.

Researchers believe these FWHR-associated behaviors can be explained by sex hormones, specifically testosterone. Men and women's sexual motives and behavior are partially modulated by testosterone. During puberty, testosterone is linked to later sexual motives and behavior in men and women. For example, a 2011 study published in Hormones and Behavior found both partnered men and women who reported either a greater desire for casual sex or sexual behavior had testosterone levels that were comparable to their single counterparts. Single men and women are known to have higher testosterone compared to those who are partnered up.

Related: Relationship Goals: Couples Like the Same Foods Even When They Don't Like Each Other

Arnocky's study could spur further research on whether the effects of FWHR can be detected in adolescence and whether they remain throughout adulthood. If this correlation holds through later adulthood, the link could provide insights on long-term relationships among older adults.

Long story short? A person's sexual preferences could actually be written all over their face.

This article has been updated to add further clarity.