Why We Like Men Who Can Keep Their Cool

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 5th, 2018
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While we all have unique standards when it comes to dating men, there are somecharacteristics which seem to appear across all listsat least according to science. High onthe list, apparently, are strong, masculine features indicative of strongtestosterone levels. Strong testosterone levels, on the other hand, are said to be proof of amans ability to protect his mate as well as proof of a healthier immune system.

Whether its a choice we make consciously or unconsciously, science has reason to believethat that this instinctive mating process is how humans, among other species, have beenable to thrive for thousands of years. And science has found another factor we take into consideration when choosing a man: how he copes with stress.

According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, we are turned off bymen who look like they are dealing with a years worth of backlog work. One look at theseguys, and we consciously or unconsciously reject them. An experiment involving a large groupof female college students in Latvia serves as evidence of this theory.

In the study, the women were asked to look at photos of 74 male students and to rate themaccording to attractiveness. The men, on the other hand, were tested for their testosterone and cortisol levels; the amount of cortisol in the men's systems served as an indicator of stress. By measuring their bodys response to a hepatitis B vaccine,researchers were also able to test their immune system function.

Results? The male students with the strongest immune system functions were among thehighest-ranked in the study. Researchers believe that the handicap hypothesis may havesomething to do with it.

This hypothesis is best explained by using the mating habits of peacocks as an example.Peacocks in general use their colorful feathers to attract mates. Youd think that its thecolor of the feathers that attracts the peahens so but according to science, its actually theskill it takes to wield them that is so attractive. Apparently, a peacock that can devoteenough energy to spread its non-utilitarian fan-like feathers and still protect itself againstpossible predators is one eligible bachelor.

In the case of humans, we see men's good looks as a peacock's feathers. They're not reallypart of any survival skill set but if they can keep themselves well-groomed and still take careof their health, then in the eyes of science, they are ideal mates.

But while a strong immune system is said to be hand in hand with high testosterone levels,men who report high cortisol levels weaken that association. Apparently, stress is thought tobe unattractive to us because it highlights a mans inability to handle work load. Never mindthe fact that eye bags arent exactly attractive in the first placescience thinks that wehave the uncanny ability to sniff out worthy and unworthy mates.

Now we normally give ourselves such a hard time when choosing guys whom we go out with, but if science is telling the truth, then perhaps we should have more faith in our instincts.

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Why We Like Men Who Can Keep Their Cool

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