London, Feb 15 (IANS) Wide-faced men tend to act more aggressively and also make racist remarks, says a new study.
This facial shape has been shown to indicate higher than average testosterone levels, linked to more aggressive behaviour.
Researchers from the University of Delaware, US, led by Eric Hehman, believe that wide-faced men are less likely to bow to social pressure, the journal Psychological Science reports.
Hehman, now at Dartmouth College, US, who led the study, said: "Racial prejudice is such a sensitive issue and there are societal pressures to appear non-prejudiced."
"More dominant individuals might care less about appearing prejudiced, or exercise less self-regulation with regard to reporting those prejudices, should they exist," adds Hehman, according to the Daily Mail.
Researchers asked male participants about their willingness to express racist beliefs and about the pressure they feel to adhere to societal norms. They compared their answers to photographs of them, which included a measurement of their facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR).
The results revealed that men who had wider and shorter faces were more likely to express racially prejudiced remarks and were less concerned about how they were perceived by others.
The scientists stressed the results did not necessarily show the men were more prejudiced - rather that they were more likely to express these beliefs if they had them.
"Not all people with greater fWHRs are prejudiced, and not all those with smaller fWHRs are non-prejudiced. You could think about it as a 'side effect' of social dominance - men with greater fWHR may not care as much about what others think of them," says Hehman.