(Medical Xpress)—In a truly odd study undertaken by a group of OB/GYN researchers in Italy, volunteer women were judged to determine if a medical condition known as endometriosis causes those afflicted to be viewed as more attractive by other people. The team found, as they describe in their paper published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, that women with a severe form of the disorder were far more likely to be seen as attractive than women in the general population.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells that are normally only found on the lining of the uterus for some reason begin to grow on other body parts in the pelvis, e.g. the ovaries, anus, bladder and also respond to fluctuations in hormone levels the same way as they would in the uterus, i.e. they grow thicker then shrink during the menstrual cycle. This causes bleeding and pain and also, apparently, a heightened state of attractiveness, at least to some doctors. The cause of the disorder is not known, though researchers suspect it has something to do with estrogen levels.
In the study, which some might consider a bit outside of the normal realm of strong science, a team made up of two male and two female doctors met with three groups (100 women each) of female volunteers (all in their early thirties or late twenties); those that suffered from the severe type of endometriosis known as rectovaginal endometriosis, those that suffered from a much less serious form of the disorder, and those that did not have the disorder at all. In tallying up the results, the researchers found that 31% of the women in the rectovaginal group were deemed to be attractive by the judges, while just 8 and 9% of those with the less severe form of the disorder or no disorder, respectively, were deemed as such. This, they say, shows that severe forms of endometriosis either cause women to be more attractive, or that the conditions that cause one to come about, also cause the other to do so as well.
What's not clear is why the study was conducted or what sort of science was advanced by the results. The researchers also found that women with rectovaginal endometriosis also had larger breasts than average and a lower body mass index, which no doubt contributed to their attractiveness scores, but didn't lead to any explanations as to why such differences exist in women with the disorder or how future studies focused on it might use what has been learned to either treat it, or help other women expand their bust lines or lower their BMI.