Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No link found between facial shape and aggression

Date:
January 25, 2013
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
There is not significant evidence to support the association between facial shape and aggression in men, according to a new study.

The professor Mireia Esparza, from the Anthropology Section of the Department of Animal Biology of the UB, is one of the researchers who developed the study.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universidad de Barcelona

There is not significant evidence to support the association between facial shape and aggression in men, according to a study published by the journal PLOS ONE.

The professor Mireia Esparza, from the Anthropology Section of the Department of Animal Biology of the University of Barcelona, is part of the international research group who carried out this study. The research is coordinated by the experts Rolando González José, from the Patagonic National Centre (CENPAT-CONICET, Argentina) and Jorge Gómez Valdés, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Sample of about 5,000 individuals from 94 worldwide human populations

The study provides new scientific data to reject the hypotheses that associate facial shape with antisocial and criminal behaviours, which attained its maximum splendour during the mid-19th century and lately have been revitalized. To carry out the study, researchers used a sample of 4,960 individuals from 94 worldwide populations. This large sample allowed to get a global estimation of facial shape and to develop an accurate analysis taking into account distinguishing traits. The experts based the research on the study of the fWHR -- facial width-to-height ratio -- as a possible predictor of aggressive behaviours in men populations.

According to the professor Mireia Esparza, "fWHR was used for two main reasons: on one hand, it is a good indicator of face shape and, on the other hand, it was used in those previous studies which established a correlation between higher fWHR scores and aggression. By this way, we were able to compare results without any bias caused by the use of any other indicator." Esparza contributed to this international study by reconstructing the genealogies of the Hallstatt population from biodemographic data to get genealogical information of the skulls studied and estimate the fitness of each individual analysed.

Craniofacial measurements and 2D and 3D cranial landmark coordinates

Research's results support previous studies which do not prove any relation between fWHR and aggression. "This study goes more deeply," remarks Mireia Esparza. "The methodology used is based on craniofacial measurements and 2D and 3D cranial landmark coordinates, so it provides us with more accurate results than other previous studies based on photographs analysis. Moreover, our research used a large sample of about 5,000 individuals from 94 worldwide populations, so we were able to carry out inter and intra-population comparisons."

"Finally -- she continues -- , two specific databases, one sample of male prisoners of the Mexico City Federal Penitentiary and one the skulls from the catholic church of Hallstaff, Austria, enabled a deeper analysis. The Hallstatt database was used to estimate the correlation among life history parameters, such as fitness or reproductive success, and skull shape traits; this sample has been essential to yield that there is not significant correlation between fWHR and male fitness in this population. The Mexican database demonstrated that fWHR is not significantly greater on those males involved in aggressive crimes in comparison with the general population."

Neither more violence, nor more reproductive success

According to the coordinators of the study, the experts Rolando González José and Jorge Gómez Valdés, "the social and political implications that this kind of non-contrasted adaptive hypotheses could have, may increase racial prejudices, discrimination and intolerance." Besides demonstrating that facial traits are a poor predictor of aggressive behaviours, the study also proves that fWHR is unrelated to sexual dimorphism. In other words, males who present higher fWHR values -- wide faces in comparison with their height -- do not have a greater reproductive success or show more violent behaviours. If males displaying higher fWHR scores achieved better fitness values, it would trigger a process of sexual selection focused on fWHR. "Our study proves that there is not statistical association between fWHR and male fitness, and that facial shape is not a good predictor of behaviour," concludes Esparza.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jorge Gómez-Valdés, Tábita Hünemeier, Mirsha Quinto-Sánchez, Carolina Paschetta, Soledad de Azevedo, Marina F. González, Neus Martínez-Abadías, Mireia Esparza, Héctor M. Pucciarelli, Francisco M. Salzano, Claiton H. D. Bau, Maria Cátira Bortolini, Rolando González-José. Lack of Support for the Association between Facial Shape and Aggression: A Reappraisal Based on a Worldwide Population Genetics Perspective. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e52317 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052317

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "No link found between facial shape and aggression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130125104102.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2013, January 25). No link found between facial shape and aggression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130125104102.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "No link found between facial shape and aggression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130125104102.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins