Headline of the day: “Having a wider face could save your life”

Today’s Headline of the Day arrived in a press release* from the publisher Elsevier: “Having a wider face could save your life.” It pertains to this study:

Male facial width is associated with death by contact violence: narrow-faced males are more likely to die from contact violence,” Michael Stirrat [whose face is pictured here], Gert Stulp, Thomas V. Pollet, Evolution and Human Behavior, epub April 17, 2012. The authors, at, University of St. Andrews, UK, and at University of Groningen, explain:

“In these data, men with narrower faces were more likely to have died as a consequence of homicides involving direct physical contact than men with wider faces…. This finding suggests that wider-faced males are less likely to die from male–male physical violence.”

[The authors then make guesses to try to explain their claims.]

*BONUS: In the same tip sheet, the publisher Elsevier also lists, as its first item in the category “Science and Technology”, the headline: “Lipstick and tipping behaviour: when red lipstick enhance waitresses tips”

BONUS:  Some Men Have Heads Built for Success or for Evil

Improbable Research