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God has a youthful face with feminine features.
At least that's according to a bizarre study by scientists in North Carolina who have created an 'e-fit' of God based on what American Christians think he looks like.
Man - Beard - People - Perceptions - God
Far from being an old man with a beard, they found people's perceptions of God tend towards a deity that is young and less Caucasian that popular culture suggests.
A team of psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created the sketch with the help of 511 American Christians.
Participants - Study - Hundreds - Face-pairs - Pair
Participants in the study saw hundreds of randomly varying face-pairs and selected which face from each pair appeared more like how they imagined God to appear.
By combining all the selected faces, the researchers could assemble a composite 'face of God' that reflected how each person imagined God to appear.
Results - Revealing
Their results were both surprising and revealing.
From Michelangelo to Monty Python, Illustrations of God have nearly always shown him as an old and august white-bearded Caucasian man.
Researchers - Christians - God - Culture
But the researchers found that many Christians saw God as younger, more feminine, and less Caucasian that popular culture suggests.
In fact, people's perceptions of God tended to rely partly on their political affiliation.
Liberals - God - Feminine - Conservatives
Liberals tended to see God as more feminine, younger, and more loving than conservatives.
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