Paper: Facial attractiveness is related to women's cortisol and body fat, but not with immune responsiveness
Facial attractiveness is related to women's cortisol and body fat, but not with immune responsivenessMarkus J. Rantala1, Vinet Coetzee2, Fhionna R. Moore3, Ilona Skrinda4, Sanita Kecko4, Tatjana Krama4, Inese Kivleniece4 and Indrikis Krams1,4,51Department of Biology, Section of Ecology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland2Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Hatfield 0028, Pretoria, South Africa3School of Psychology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK4Institute of Systematic Biology, University of Daugavpils, 5401 Daugavpils, Latvia5Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 51014 Tartu, Estoniae-mail: markus.rantala@...
Recent studies suggest that facial attractiveness indicates immune responsiveness in men and that this relationship is moderated by stress hormones which interact with testosterone levels. However, studies testing whether facial attractiveness in women signals their immune responsiveness are lacking. Here, we photographed young Latvian women, vaccinated them against hepatitis B and measured the amount of specific antibodies produced, cortisol levels and percentage body fat. Latvian men rated the attractiveness of the women's faces. Interestingly, in women, immune responsiveness (amount of antibodies produced) did not predict facial attractiveness. Instead, plasma cortisol level was negatively associated with attractiveness, indicating that stressed women look less attractive. Fat percentage was curvilinearly associated with facial attractiveness, indicating that being too thin or too fat reduces attractiveness. Our study suggests that in contrast to men, facial attractiveness in women does not indicate immune responsiveness against hepatitis B, but is associated with two other aspects of long-term health and fertility: circulating levels of the stress hormone cortisol and percentage body fat.Source: The Royal Society [Open access Paper]
Robert Karl Stonjek