If you are looking to find a partner, men, you now have more of a reason to eat right and exercise. New research suggests women may lust after a man’s immune system more than a hot bod or smoldering face.
Men with high levels of testosterone are seen as more attractive to women, and the same men have stronger immune responses, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Testosterone is responsible for more “manly” features, and women are attracted to them because they signal good health, as proved in a recent study.
Researchers gathered 74 Latvian men in their early 20s and took blood samples immediately before and one month after their first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine which triggers the immune system to create antibodies against the virus. The researchers recorded these levels of antibodies as well as testosterone levels and cortisol, the stress hormone that negatively effects the body.
Photos were taken of these men and 94 Latvian women, also in their early 20s, rated photographs on a scale of one to 10 for attractiveness. The researchers then looked for a correlation between the amount of Hepatitis B antibodies, hormone levels and the attractiveness of the men based on the women’s scores.
While the relationship between testosterone levels and the immune system has long been studied, this study is the first to explore a link between a man’s immune system and the perceived attractiveness to the opposite sex. Researchers next hope to explore whether these results hold true across cultures and different age ranges.
February 26th, 2012