Women Find 'Less Stressed' Men More Attractive
Women find ‘less stressed’ men significantly more attractive than their ‘stressed out’ rivals according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.
Dr Moore and her research team at the University of Abertay Dundee found a strong link between levels of the stress hormone cortisol and how attractive men appeared to women.
Furthermore the research found no clear link between high levels of testosterone and sex appeal as previously reported.
(Men with low levels of the stress hormone cortisol (picture on left) are more attractive says the study)
The results suggest the situation is more complex than previously thought. Other scientists had claimed that high levels of testosterone – which are thought to have evolutionary links to male dominance of rivals and the strength of the immune system – are linked to levels of male attractiveness.
By contrast, the researchers believe that men with low stress levels are in fact more attractive, partly because this suggests ‘strong’ genes to be passed on to offspring.
Dr Moore said: “Previous studies suggested a link between high levels of testosterone and greater attractiveness because of health benefits, as only males with a strong immune system could cope with high levels of this sex hormone.
“However, our study suggests this may not be the case at all. We analysed different levels and combinations of cortisol and testosterone, and found a strong link between low cortisol levels – which is present when someone has low stress levels – and being highly attractive to women.”
The study also showed that female attraction to men with low stress levels was at its highest during the fertile phase of the female menstrual cycle.
She added: “We believe that the link between low stress levels and high attractiveness to women is because an ability to handle stressful situations suggests a strong genetic make-up, the future suitability of a partner, and their ability to pass on ‘good genes’ to their children.
“Interestingly, our research also showed increased attractiveness for men with consistent hormone levels. So low cortisol and low testosterone, or high cortisol and high testosterone, were both found to be more attractive than one level being high and the other low.”
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