Are handsome men more fertile?

Facial attractiveness has been related to health in both men and women. Certain psychological, physiological, and secondary sex characteristics have been used as accurate markers of hormonal and developmental health. The main objective of this study was to investigate the capacity of women to select males of high reproductive quality based on their facial attractiveness. A total of 66 males were included in the study. Each of them provides a semen sample, and frontal and lateral photographs were taken. Semen analysis was made according to standard WHO (1999) guidelines for morphology, motility, and concentration. Moreover, a Sperm Index (SI) was calculated as the principal component of these parameters. In Study 1, 66 women rated the attractiveness, as a possible permanent couple, of pictures of all 66 men. In Study 2, the pictures of a subset of 12 males were randomly selected from three semen quality subgroups (terciles named good, normal, and bad, according to the value of the SI). These 12 pictures were rated on attractiveness by two independent sets of women (N=88 and N=76). Facial attractiveness ratings were significantly (P<.05) and positively correlated with sperm morphology, motility, and SI, but not with concentration, for all the women sets.

Source: “Facial attractiveness in men provides clues to semen quality” from Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 24, Pages 199-207 (May 2003)

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