TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a young woman
looking for a long-term relationship with a young man, a new study
suggests your face is your best asset. But if you just want some
fun, focus on your body.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that a
man's interest in female faces and bodies varies depending on
whether he is interested in a short-term or long-term relationship.
The researchers speculate that a woman's body provides hints about
her current state of fertility, while her face indicates her
long-term value as a mate.
Women, by contrast, didn't change their preferences according to
the kind of relationship they were seeking.
In the study, Jaime Confer, a psychology graduate student, and
colleagues recruited 375 college students who were told they could
look at images of people described as possible short-term or
long-term mates. The participants then got to choose whether they
wanted to see a face or a body, but not both.
A quarter of men looked at bodies, not faces, when they were
told a potential partner would be for the long term, while they did
so 51 percent of the time when told the woman was a potential
short-term partner, according to a university news release.
"Men's priorities shift depending on what they want in a mate, with facial features taking on more importance when a long-term relationship is the goal," Confer said in a university news release.
The study findings are published in the September issue of the
Evolution and Human Behavior.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has details on