Why Women Dig Men with Scars

Harrison Ford is sexy for, among other things, the scar on his chin. He reportedly got it after losing control of his car while trying to buckle his seat belt. In this May 2008 photo he was promoting the film "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull" AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Love often leaves emotional scars. Some women just love physical scars. At least for a while.

Women seeking short-term relationships are attracted to men with scars, the Daily Mail reports. May be that they associate it with health and bravery, according to scientists at Liverpool and Stirling universities.

In the study, women rated scars as attractive for flings because they saw them symbols of masculinity — good qualities to pass on in the genes, if you know what I mean. Men without scars were seen as more caring and better suited for the long haul (suggesting these unscarred men may get saddled swaddling the offspring of the scarred).

There's a pattern unfolding in this sort of research.

A study last year found that men with square jaws and well-defined brow ridges are seen as good short-term partners, while those with more feminine traits such as a rounder face and fuller lips are perceived as better long-term mates.

Pure beauty still plays a big role in picking mates, of course. What both genders look for, scientists say: symmetry, which indicates a person has the genetic goods to survive and reproduce well.

Now, if you believe love should hurt, you're a candidate for a happy marriage. In a study in 2006, researchers found that participants who reported happier marriages agreed with these statements: "I'd rather suffer myself than let the one I love suffer," and "I'm willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let the one I love achieve his or hers."

Women on The Pill be careful: The chemicals can screw up your ability to sniff out a compatible mate.

  • The (scientifically based) Sex Quiz
  • Do Men Really Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds?
  • Top 10 Aphrodisiacs

This article is from the LiveScience Water Cooler: What people are talking about in the world of science and beyond.

Robert Roy Britt

Robert is an independent health and science journalist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former editor-in-chief of Live Science with over 20 years of experience as a reporter and editor. He has worked on websites such as Space.com and Tom's Guide, and is a contributor on Medium, covering how we age and how to optimize the mind and body through time. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.