Tuesday November 20, 2018
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Attractiveness in Males is Not Associated With Female’s Hormone Levels, says Study

The two faces in each pair were digitally altered versions of the same photo -- one face was altered to have somewhat feminised features and the other was altered to have somewhat masculinised features.

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There was also no association between attractiveness judgments and levels of other potentially influential hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol, the study said.
Male attractiveness is not linked to women's hormone levels, Pixabay
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Do you think women tend to prefer a particular type of man when they are fertile? If you think so, nothing could be further from the truth as a new study says that women’s perceptions of male attractiveness do not vary according to their hormone levels.

These findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, run counter to the common assumption that sexual selection pressures lead women to prefer more masculine mates, who supposedly have greater genetic “fitness,” when they are most fertile and most likely to conceive.

“We found no evidence that changes in hormone levels influence the type of men women find attractive,” said lead researcher Benedict Jones of the University of Glasgow in Britain.

“This study is noteworthy for its scale and scope — previous studies typically examined small samples of women using limited measures,” Jones explained.

“With much larger sample sizes and direct measures of hormonal status, we were not able to replicate effects of hormones on women’s preferences for masculine faces,” Jones said.

To address the limitations of previous studies, the researchers recruited nearly 600 heterosexual women to participate in a series of weekly test sessions.

"With much larger sample sizes and direct measures of hormonal status, we were not able to replicate effects of hormone on women's preferences for masculine faces," Jones said.
Representational Image, Pixabay

In each session, the participants reported whether they were currently in a romantic relationship and whether they were currently using hormonal contraceptives.

In each face-preference task, the participants saw 10 pairs of male faces and selected the face in each pair that they found more attractive, rating how strong their preference was.

The two faces in each pair were digitally altered versions of the same photo — one face was altered to have somewhat feminised features and the other was altered to have somewhat masculinised features.

As expected, women generally rated the masculinised faces as more attractive than the feminised faces.

Also Read: The funny side of impressing women

Preference for the more masculinised faces was also slightly stronger when women judged attractiveness in the context of a short-term relationship as opposed to a long-term relationship.

However, there was no evidence that women’s preferences varied according to levels of fertility-related hormones, such as estradiol and progesterone.

There was also no association between attractiveness judgments and levels of other potentially influential hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol, the study said. (IANS)

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Women In India Turn To Technology To Stay Safe From Harassment

Police in many Indian cities are also encouraging women to use apps to register complaints

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Women, Harassment
Women stand at a crowded place in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, Oct. 9, 2006. Safety is the biggest concern for women using public and private transport, according to a survey Thursday. VOA

New web and phone apps in India are helping women stay safe in public spaces by making it easier for them to report harassment and get help, developers say.

Women are increasingly turning to technology to stay safe in public spaces, which in turn helps the police to map “harassment prone” spots — from dimly lit roads to bus routes and street corners.

Safety is the biggest concern for women using public and private transport, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey released Thursday, as improving city access for women becomes a major focus globally.

“Women always strategize on how to access public spaces, from how to dress to what mode of transport to take, timings and whether they should travel alone or in a group,” said Sameera Khan, columnist and co-author of “Why Loiter? Women And Risk On Mumbai Streets.”

#MeToo, Victim, Harassment
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician M.J. Akbar takes the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers, July 5, 2017, at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi. The Indian minister and veteran newspaper editor announced his resignation, Oct. 17, 2018, while still insisting that the accusations of sexual harassment are false. VOA

Reported crimes up 80 percent

Indian government data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by more than 80 percent between 2007 and 2016.

The fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi in 2012 put the spotlight on the dangers women face in India’s public spaces.

The incident spurred Supreet Singh of charity Red Dot Foundation to create the SafeCity app that encourages women across 11 Indian cities to report harassment and flag hotspots.

“We want to bridge the gap between the ground reality of harassment in public spaces and what is actually being reported,” said Singh, a speaker at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference on Thursday.

India, Harassment
Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University participate in a protest demanding suspension of a professor accused of sexual harassment, in New Delhi. VOA

The aim is to take the spotlight off the victim and focus on the areas where crimes are committed so action can be taken.

Dimly lit lanes, crowded public transport, paths leading to community toilets, basements, parking lots and parks are places where Indian women feel most vulnerable, campaigners say.

Stigma attached to sexual harassment and an insensitive police reporting mechanism result in many cases going unreported, rights campaigners say.

Apps are promising

But apps like SafeCity, My Safetipin and Himmat (courage) promise anonymity to women reporting crimes and share data collected through the app with government agencies such as the police, municipal corporations and the transport department.

Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University participate in a protest demanding suspension of a professor accused of sexual harassment, in New Delhi
People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India. VOA

“The data has helped in many small ways,” said Singh of the Red Dot Foundation. “From getting the police to increase patrolling in an area prone to ‘eve-teasing’ to getting authorities to increase street lighting in dark alleys, the app is bringing change.”

Also Read: Women And Girls In Poor Countries Are Using Contraceptives More: Report

Police in many Indian cities, including New Delhi, Gurgaon and Chandigarh, are also encouraging women to use apps to register complaints, promising prompt action.

“Safety apps are another such strategy that could be applied by women but I worry that by giving these apps, everyone else, most importantly the state, should not abdicate its responsibility towards public safety,” Khan said. (VOA)