back to article fWHoaR! Researcher crack eternal mystery of what women want in a man

Conferring yet another boon on confused men everywhere, psychologists say they have finally cracked the eternal mystery of just what it is that women really find attractive in a man. Unfortunately for those of our male readers whose skull is taller than it is wide, it turns out that what really stokes the ladies' desires is a …


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  1. John H Woods

    Perfect timing ...

    ... as my son has just been moaning that he has inherited my square head. But I really think that if I had to look like a famous Scandinavian, SWIMBO would have prefered Alexander Skarsgård to Anders Breivik.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perfect timing ...

      Does this include all those chubby cheeked obese fatties, another excuse for them not to lose weight.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bollocks, then show me who has a head that is wider than it is tall?

      And they say size doesn't matter, when we all know it does.

      1. Mike Smith
        Thumb Up

        Size does indeed matter

        But width is better than length.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Size does indeed matter

          I distinctly remember a female comedian pointing out that the last thing women want is a man with a wide head, if the relationship proves "fruitful" they're going to have deliver the result... Ouch!

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "...has previously been associated with surviving in hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness, self-perceived power, and CEO’s financial success"

    So, in fact, what women want are sociopaths. Or sugar daddies.

    Should I get my coat? Er no, not with my wide skull.

    1. LarsG

      So that's why ugly or fat politicians always get the attractive girls, Mr Holland, John Major, Robin Cook and Lembit Opik I am looking at you.

      So it's all about head size and nothing at all to do with power.

      Actually maybe Cook and Majors conquests shouldn't count.

      1. Nigel 13

        I thought Mr. Lembit had a long face not wide.

        I'll get my cardigan (a jumper will not fit over my head)

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: sociopaths. Or sugar daddies

      There's a difference?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > So, in fact, what women want are sociopaths.

      I'M IN LUCK!!!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long face, long schlong shurley..?

    I call bull.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Long face, long schlong shurley..?

      Bulls have very wide heads AND long schlongs.. therefore they have everything that a woman wants..

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Bull

        Seems like bulls go for wide faced women too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long face, long schlong shurley..?

      Yeah thats what women want. A face like a horse and a long thin pencil appendage.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious solution

    If you're male, with a long face, only speed-date psychologists.

    "Wide face, a bit dominant...probable psychopath, avoid"

    1. Psmiffy

      Re: Obvious solution

      "Women want safety, security. I can offer them nothing but danger." - Johnny English

  5. John 156

    More pointless research from a Psychology department; keep on useless eating, chaps, humanity could do entirely without your pseudo-scientific discoveries..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed, because the research can not suggest what can improve the situation.

      Another researcher may find fare people are more attractive than the darker ones. Shit.

  6. TitterYeNot


    "She and her colleagues' paper can be read by subscribers here, courtesy of the journal Psychological Science.

    Psychological Science? Blatant oxymoron shurley...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Trick-Cyclist

      Psychological Science? Blatant oxymoron

      There is no necessary impediment to applying scientific epistemology to many questions that conventionally fall within the discipline of psychology. It is entirely possible to formulate a testable1 hypothesis, conduct empirical research under a sound methodology, analyze the data, and arrive at a statistically-significant2 result. It may be common for researchers in practice to fail at one aspect or another of this process, and far more common for lay readers to wildly misinterpret and over-apply the results. But none of that makes psychological science impossible.

      Of course, having a nuanced, critical, informed understanding of intellectual work you don't personally care for does require some effort, so I do not expect it of the Register's writers or readers. That's OK; y'all are irrelevant to that work anyway. Feel free to chitter away from the sidelines.

      1And falsifiable, for you unreconstructed Popperians, though you really need to study up on perfect Bayesian reasoning.

      2Frequentist or Bayes, take your pick. Though frequentists are warned not to fetishize p-value, which has been routinely abused in a great many circles, often including the hard sciences.

  7. John G Imrie

    If this is true

    then Stewie Griffin is the hottest male on the planet.

    1. cbars

      Re: If this is true

      Hey! Arnold!

  8. xperroni

    Yet another correlation / causation fail

    Yet again trick-cyclists fail to consider that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Why, it could just as easily be the case that being aggressive, dominating, working as CEO etc. is what causes your head to become wider than it is tall, what with your rivals pounding it with clubs and the like!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet another correlation / causation fail

      Correlation or causation, if women want it, then that it is.

      I guess the lead researcher herself could state it without asking other girls.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So that's the root of Call-me-Dave's popularity.

    The extraordinarily wide forehead (and in fact rest of head).

    Or in the words of another expert

    "First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the girl"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what women want

      Obvious for centuries - read page 1 of Pride and Prejudice !

      income of mate = security for self & offspring

      Anonymous - I don't want to be lynched by all the females around

      1. poohbear

        Re: what women want

        Or as Rider Haggard put it in "She" (IIRC): men want beauty, woman want gold.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So that's the root of Call-me-Dave's popularity.

      "So that's the root of Call-me-Dave's popularity. "

      What popularity? Everybody I know hates him with a burning passion. Admittedly not quite as universally loathed as Clegg, but not far behind.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few who immediately spring to mind

    Peter Sutcliffe, Fred West, Ian Brady, Oddbod and Frankenstein all look very similar. I think if I were female this would be enough reason for me to stay away from men with square heads. OK, I concede it might have been unfair to put Oddbod in with the others.

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Frankenstein

      Oh, how many more times?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Frankenstein

        If you wish to go on a crusade to teach the world that literally Frankenstein is the creator not the monster and show everybody how clever you are then I fear you'll be fighting a losing battle, on both counts.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          According to the title of the latest movie, it's

          "I, Frankenstein" - although it seems to say that Adam only takes the name in the last scene.

          "Not one for the critics", says mark Kermode, a critic.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: A few who immediately spring to mind

      If we're talking about [Carry On Screaming], Oddbod's behaviour towards women was... I suppose that for him "unreconstructed" is not the right word. But in a Carry On film, that didn't stand out much.

  11. stu 4

    George Zimmerman

    George Zimmerman must be beating them off with a stick (sic)

    1. dogged

      Re: George Zimmerman

      I think he shoots 'em.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloke walks into a girlie bar....

    Barwoman sighs "Why the long face"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having chosen a mate with a wide head, there's a good chance that one day the woman will give birth to a baby with a wide head.


  14. Nick Kew Silver badge


    You only need to read the headline[1] to infer another manifestation of the age-old human preference for the perfectly round and symmetric. The ancient Greeks told us first.

    [1] Or should that be headsphere?

  15. Mnot Paranoid

    Charlie Brooker married Konnie Huq and did a baby.


  16. Pete 2

    One in the eye for feminism

    > Male speed-daters with higher fWHR, ... more dominant. Women not only expressed more interest in short-term relationships with these men ...

    The conclusion from that one, single, piece of research makes it sound as if women want to be dominated - or at least: spend time in the presence of dominant men. If there really is anything in this line of research (like people used to think about phrenology?), one must wonder what that says about equality and emancipation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One in the eye for feminism

      "...makes it sound as if women want to be dominated..." - no offense meant to anyone, but that conclusion can be reached in five minutes flat simply by tallying the D/S ratio on any... erm... domination-related website. Obviously AC since, erm, yeah... just imagine the gimp icon over there --->

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One in the eye for feminism

        > Obviously AC since, erm, yeah...

        Could you post a couple links to examples of such sites though? Just in the interests of... err... research.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: One in the eye for feminism

          "Could you post a couple links to examples of such sites though? Just in the interests of... err... research."

          I think you need to hand back your internet driving licence and retire to a cave. :-)

    2. Moosh
      Paris Hilton

      Re: One in the eye for feminism

      You have to think about what we mean by "dominant". I'd imagine they don't want to be dominated as such (except maybe a little in bed from time to time) but rather that they want men who are in assertive and in charge of their own lives and in positions of power over other men. It doesn't necessarily mean they want to be treated like dirt or marginalized in the relationship proper.

      I'd imagine even the most bitch queen from hell feminist would prefer an assertive yet respectful and successful partner over a subdued doormat.

  17. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Deep down women are...

    ... shallow. (Actually I think that's one of Dorothy Parker's)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deep down women are...

      Actually, Dorothy Parker wrote:

      "When you tell him that you're his, shuddering and sighing

      And he swears his passion is infinite, undying

      Lady, make a note of this: one of you is lying."

      She obviously went for wide-faced men.

  18. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    So a trick-cyclist in Singapore finds that out of 150 women - presumably mostly local in such small sample - the majority find men with wider faces more attractive? Can it be that they find wide-cheeked Asian men more attractive than longer-faced Occidentals? Or longer-faced Asians, for that matter?

    1. Irongut

      It's worse than that

      Noooo... "The researchers studied over 150 men and women"

      So they studied about 80 women and asked them how attractive they found 80 men. Such a fine representative sample, it can surely be scaled up to be valid on a planet of over 7 billion people.

    2. Disgruntled of TW

      Comical statisticians at work ...

      I mean really - 150? That's it? Try again.

  19. Frankee Llonnygog

    What the test shows

    Is that the kind of people willing to engage in speed-dating prefer wide faces. The tastes of more discerning people may differ

    As a last resort though, it's worth remembering that faces look wider to the intoxicated

  20. David Pollard

    Obligatory XKCD

    1. Spleen

      Re: Obligatory XKCD

      There are XKCD comics other than that "Correct horse battery staple" one?

      Well I never.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory XKCD

        Yes indeed, there's the Bobby Tables one.');

  21. this

    Where was this study done?

    A speed-dating venue in Singapore. Not exactly a 'scientific' sample. A fine example of bad science, bad statisics etc.

    I know Valentine's day is approaching and this kind of nonsense tends to float to the top of the journalist's pond around now, but even the researcher's called Valentine!

    Come to think of it it's probably not bad science, just completely made up.

    Which is much better.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This obviously explains why women are incapable of setting the aspect ratio on a widescreen TV correctly, and always watch 'standard" 4:3 pictures stretched out sideways.

    1. uncredited

      I wish that only applied to women. My (male) roommate can't watch a properly set 4:3 aspect ratio on his 16:9 TV - he simply must have it stretched out.

  23. Admiral Grace Hopper

    I'm not currently looking for a relationship

    But if I chanced on a chap with a large bank balance and a dodgy heart my head could be turned.

  24. Ironclad

    Cage Fight

    “High male fWHR has previously been associated with surviving in hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness, self-perceived power, and CEO’s financial success,”

    I say let's prove it and put all the CEOs we can find into a last-man-standing cage fight.

  25. Mat 3

    Trick cyclist? I think not.

    A Trick Cyclist is slang for a psychiatrist. Ms. Valentine is a psychologist. Psychology and psychiatry are obviously completely different disciplines. It's akin to confusing iOS with Android...

    1. solo

      Re: Trick cyclist? I think not.

      Is she Trick-Clickist?

      [Click HERE to know the secret]

  26. JohnMurray

    The only thing I ever noticed about women is that once you have figured out what they want, they change what they want, and want what you haven´t got.

    And I have yet to see any research that has persuaded me that women know what they want, ever.

  27. MooseNC

    "...more interest in short-term relationships..."

    This is a polite way of saying they want to play slap and tickle with the men-folk.

  28. Yugguy

    Every single bloke reading this is now checking his face via his smartphone camera.

    Ah, er, oh, just me then.

  29. Tom 11
    Big Brother

    Weird face widening trick THEY don't want you to know...

    IT admin discovers weird new trick using household ingredients to widen face, in just 2 weeks. Send £10 to Tom 11, Tom 11 towers and we shall send you your pack, guaranteed to add width and girth to your svelte cranium.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this why woman all appear to lust after Sarah Jessica Parker?

  31. Mark Major


    I never heard that before. I had to go and check that the XKCD Chrome Extension which does silly word replacements on every webpage is still turned off!...

  32. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Makes sense. fWHR might be subconsciously related to overall "body width". Back in the old days, weight was related to wealth and power. If you were rich/powerful enough to eat well while the peasants were starving ......

    This has carried forward into almost modern times. Portrayals of rich and powerful men were often more portly. From kings to the stereotypical fat sheriff/mayor in American redneck towns.

    The other point that is interesting was the fWHR as an indication of desirability for short-term relationships. It reinforces some other studies that undermine monogamy among homo sapiens. Women choose the best genetic material with which to conceive their children. But they choose a husband based on one least likely to run off with the younger secretary due to his lower social position.

    And just for the sake of honesty: Fathead checking in here.

  33. Frank N. Stein

    What about pumped up roid monsters who are on PEDs? Won't those PED's widen their heads a bit?

  34. MrDamage

    Outdated study

    As thats what they wanted yesterday. Today they want a guy with a 3 day growth and glasses. Tomorrow it will be something else.

  35. lorisarvendu

    Social Darwinism in action?

    So with women naturally preferring to mate with wide-faced men, that explains why all the thin-faced long-headed humans have died out.

    Hang on a minute...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    True or False, courtesy of Shooting Stars

    "True or False, Paul Daniels' head is wider than it is tall? It's true, and we have the proof!"

    That would explain Debbie McGhee, but I think I prefer Mrs. Merton's explanation:

    "So Debbie, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"

  37. k9gardner

    I have a long-ish face...

    Thank god I'm gay.

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