KATHMANDU — Women’s preference for masculine faces is not linked with hormones, according to a study conducted by the Association for Psychological Science.
Data from around 600 participants show that women’s perceptions of male attractiveness do not vary according to their hormone levels, in contrast with some previous research.
“We found no evidence that changes in hormone levels influence the type of men women find attractive,” said lead researcher Benedict C Jones.
“This study is noteworthy for its scale and scope – previous studies typically examined small samples of women using limited measures,” Jones explained adding, “With much larger sample sizes and direct measures of hormonal status, we weren’t able to replicate effects of hormones on women’s preferences for masculine faces.”
The study findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
To address the limitations of previous studies, Jones and coauthors recruited 584 heterosexual women to participate in a series of weekly test sessions. The participants, in each session, reported whether they were currently in a romantic relationship and whether they were currently using hormonal contraceptives.
They provided a saliva sample for hormone analyses and completed a task that measured their preferences for different types of male faces.
The participants, in each face-preference task, 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 feminized features and the other was altered to have somewhat masculinised features.
To obscure the specific objective of the study, the researchers interspersed these attractiveness judgments among other filler questions.
As expected, women generally rated the masculinised faces as more attractive than the feminized faces. 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.
These findings run counter to the hypothesis 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.
The data also showed that oral contraceptive use did not dampen women’s preference for masculine faces, as has been shown previously.
With Agency InputsFollow @gorkhapost
Heart ache from lover’s spat is real!
WASHINGTON — Turns out, when people say their heart is aching due to a minor squabble with their partners, they are not exaggerating, as generally perceived.
A fight with a spouse may end in hurt feelings, but for those with chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, according to a study conducted by the Penn State. Those arguments may have physical repercussions as well.
The researchers found that in two groups of older individuals — one group with arthritis and one with diabetes– the patients who felt more tension with their spouse also reported worse symptoms on those days.
“It was exciting that we were able to see this association in two different data sets — two groups of people with two different diseases,” said researcher Lynn Martire. “The findings gave us insight into how marriage might affect health, which is important for people dealing with chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes.”
Martire said it’s important to learn more about how and why symptoms of chronic disease worsen. People with osteoarthritis in their knees who experience greater pain become disabled quicker, and people with diabetes that isn’t controlled have a greater risk for developing complications.
The researchers said that while previous research has shown a connection between satisfying marriages and better health, both physically and psychologically, there’s been a lack of research into how day-to-day experiences impact those with chronic illness.
“We study chronic illnesses, which usually involve daily symptoms or fluctuations in symptoms,” Martire said. “Other studies have looked at the quality of someone’s marriage right now. But we wanted to drill down and examine how positive or negative interactions with your spouse affect your health from day to day.”
Data from two groups of participants were used for the study. One group was comprised of 145 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee and their spouses.
The other included 129 patients with type II diabetes and their spouses.
Participants in both groups kept daily diaries about their mood, how severe their symptoms were, and whether their interactions with their spouse were positive or negative.
The participants in the arthritis and diabetes groups kept their diaries for 22 and 24 days, respectively.
The researchers found that within both groups of participants, patients were in a worse mood on days when they felt more tension than usual with their spouse, which in turn led to greater pain or severity of symptoms.
Additionally, the researchers found that within the group with arthritis, the severity of the patient’s pain also had an effect on tensions with their spouse the following day. When they had greater pain, they were in a worse mood and had greater tension with their partner the next day.
“This almost starts to suggest a cycle where your marital interactions are more tense, you feel like your symptoms are more severe, and the next day you have more marital tension again,” Martire said.
“We didn’t find this effect in the participants with diabetes, which may just be due to differences in the two diseases.”
Martire said the results could potentially help create interventions targeted at helping couples with chronic diseases.
“We usually focus on illness-specific communications, but looking at tension in a marriage isn’t tied to the disease, it’s not a symptom of the disease itself,” Martire said. “It’s a measure you can get from any couple.
It suggests to me that looking beyond the illness, to improve the overall quality of the relationship might have some impact on health.”
The study appears in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.