Testosterone levels dictate attraction

September 15, 2008
Testosterone levels dictate attraction

Women with higher levels of testosterone are more attracted to masculine looking men like celebrity beefcakes Russell Crowe and Daniel Craig.

And men with raised levels of the same hormone are more attracted to feminine looking faces like those of Lost star Evangeline Lilly and the actress Natalie Portman.

These are the findings of the University of Aberdeen's Face Research Laboratory which reveal that changes in testosterone levels affect the extent to which men and women are attracted to different types of faces.

It has been assumed that people are attracted to other people because they are drawn to particular types.

But Drs Ben Jones, Lisa DeBruine and Lisa Welling have shown that testosterone levels appear to be the key.

Theirs is the first study to reveal the role the hormone plays in making certain women attractive to certain men.

The researchers asked male and female volunteers to complete short face preference tests in which they were shown pairs of masculine and feminine faces. Participants were asked to choose which face from each pair was more attractive.

Men and women completed four different test sessions that were each a week apart. In each session, volunteers also provided a saliva sample which was used to measure testosterone levels.

Dr Jones, a Psychology lecturer, said: "People preferred different types of face in the session where their testosterone level was highest than in the session where it was lowest.

"When men's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to feminine women. When women's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to masculine men.

"Since masculine men and feminine women are thought to produce the healthiest children and sex drive is higher when testosterone levels are also high, these findings suggest that men and women in hormonal states where their interest in sex is highest, show stronger attraction to high quality – or healthy – mates."

Dr Welling added: "We tend to think that attraction is relatively stable over time. However, our research shows that attraction is affected by fluctuations in testosterone levels."

Drs Jones and DeBruine will be talking about their research at Innovate with Aberdeen, The Frontiers of Excellence which is taking place at the University of Aberdeen on Thursday, September 18, and is open to all.

Source: University of Aberdeen

Explore further: Women can be just as daring and risky as men, new studies show

Related Stories

Women can be just as daring and risky as men, new studies show

October 4, 2017
Women can be just as risky as men – or even riskier—when the conventional macho measures of daring—such as betting vast sums on a football game—are replaced by less stereotypical criteria, according to new research ...

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality

September 19, 2017
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions. These are the findings from a study led by Steven Arnocky of Nipissing ...

Male hormones may promote infection by virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma

September 28, 2017
Male hormones may facilitate infection with a virus that can cause a type of cancer known as Kaposi's sarcoma. This finding, published in PLOS Pathogens by Ke Lan's group of the State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan University, ...

Swings in dad's testosterone affects the family—for better or worse—after baby arrives

September 5, 2017
Postpartum depression is often associated with mothers, but a new study shows that fathers face a higher risk of experiencing it themselves if their testosterone levels drop nine months after their children are born.

Researchers reveal link between PCOS, type 2 diabetes

August 29, 2017
Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and are diagnosed at an earlier age with the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's ...

Postpartum depression can affect dads – hormones may be to blame

August 25, 2017
Postpartum depression has become more visible as celebrity moms including Brooke Shields, Drew Barrymore and Chrissy Teigen have publicly shared their struggles with feeling sad and hopeless after birth. But when a father ...

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.