Laid back men 'more attractive'

composite pic from stress study Men with low levels of the stress hormone cortisol (picture on left) are more attractive says the study

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Men with low levels of stress are more attractive to women, according to research at the University of Abertay.

The team analysed hormone levels in young men and showed pictures to a group of women.

It found a strong link between low levels of the stress hormone cortisol in men and how attractive they were to the opposite sex.

The research also discovered no link between high levels of the sex hormone testosterone and sex appeal.

Dr Fhionna Moore, a psychology lecturer at Abertay University who lead the research team, said that previous studies had suggested a link between high levels of testosterone and greater health benefits as it was thought that only males with a strong immune system could cope with higher levels of the sex hormone.

She said the university's study debunked that suggestion saying: "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 their cycle.

Hormone levels

Dr Moore added that the findings suggested that: "An ability to handle stressful situations suggests a strong genetic make-up and the ability to pass 'good genes' to their children."

The survey also showed increased attractiveness for men with consistent hormone levels.

The first part of the study looked at hormone levels while the second used computer software to prepare composite faces representing different mixes of hormone levels.

In the first sample 42 women and 39 men were used. In the second 43 women and 39 men took part.

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