Study shows women with thick eyebrows may be more attractive to men


Nicole Morsfield

Women typically tweeze and wax their eyebrows, but a 2019 study conducted by two Oakland professors found that men are more attracted to women with thicker eyebrows.

Through the years, women’s eyebrows have been pencil thin, but in a 2019 study conducted by Oakland University psychology professors Dr. Lisa Welling and Dr. Justin Mogilski, men were found to be more attracted to women with thicker, fuller eyebrows.

For the study, the researchers used a conjoint analysis statistical technique. This process involves multiple versions of an object being presented and then the participants reacting and ranking each object.

“This analysis is typically used in consumer science research to understand which features of a product influence consumers’ decisions to purchase that product,” Mogilski said. “We wanted to apply this same technique and logic to how people perceive and evaluate faces. We expected this to reveal which aspects of the face people pay attention to the most when selecting a romantic partner.”

They used factors such as jawbone prominence, cheekbone prominence, eye size, fade length and eyebrow thickness in both a committed and sexual relation to help determine the desired preferences of the tested individuals. 1,000 people rated pictures on their attractiveness to help with the study.

“We found a number of findings, such as that masculinized jawbones were more attractive in men than women, that facial height was more important for women than men, and, of course, the publicized result that thicker eyebrows were more attractive on women than men, particularly in a longterm partner,” Mogilski said.

The purpose of the study was to understand more qualities than a person’s sociosexuality, or the willingness to have sexual activity outside of a committed relationship. They believe thicker eyebrows allow for more clear expressions and, most importantly, the romantic interest someone is having.

“There is some recent research showing that people can infer personality qualities such as narcissism, the tendency to think highly of yourself, from eyebrows,” Mogilski said. “Eyebrows are also used for many facial expressions. It’s possible that thicker brows allow for more pronounced expressions, including conveying romantic interest.”

Some results of the study, such as a feminine jawbone being more attractive for women and a masculine jawbone being more attractive for men, were what the researchers expected to find.

Welling said men being more attracted to women with thicker eyebrows could be dependent on trends.

“It’s possible that current fashion trends or celebrity icons are influencing preferences,” Welling said. “For example, celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Cara Delevingne — who have thicker eyebrows — could indirectly increase social preferences for this trait. It may also be that this feature is associated with other variables that we didn’t measure, like perceptions of kindness or trustworthiness, that are optimal in a potential longterm romantic partner.”

Welling hopes further research can look deeper into the idea of factoring in measuring kindness or trustworthiness and how it can affect the results.

Now, women with thick eyebrows can potentially feel less insecure because, based on the results of this study, their thick eyebrows are a good thing.