The Link Between Manly Traits And Male Fertility
According to the results of a new study, women tend to get more attracted to fertile males at the time of their ovulation to enhance their chances of successful conception. One must understand the theory of survival of the fittest to understand this concept. Traditionally, high testosterone levels are associated with more manly features and superior semen quality (or fertility). The idea is derived from prior researches in which it was identified that manly traits such as strong built, broad shoulders etc. are linked to high testosterone levels and genetic proficiency.
High Testosterone Levels and Manly Characteristics:
There are several parameters that help women in identifying fertile men; such as:
1. Masculine Built:
Men with high testosterone levels have strong bones and higher muscle mass due to anabolic activity of testosterone. This explains why masculine characteristics such as facial construction, built and other physical features are found to be more appealing to women in a heterosexual relation, especially at the time of their ovulation.
According to a new study reported in the PloS One (2) investigators suggested that high testosterone levels in men are associated with higher handgrip strength (HGS) scores. Based on the results obtained from Tanzanian population, it was identified that males with higher HGS have high serum testosterone levels and superior quality sperms, which makes them more likely to impregnate their partner in case of a successful sexual encounter.
2. Body Hair:
Former studies have shown that women are more allured towards men who are bigger and have more hairs. Even in animal kingdom, having more hair is considered as a sign of masculinity and hairy males tend to attract their companion towards them. For example male peacock’s tail feathers are sign of their machismo.
To test this hypothesis, investigators conducted a study to see if women are attracted to hairy men or clean-shaved men. To obtain consistent and non-biased results, investigators used 15 male faces that were modified by a computer software to obtain five looks (such as clean shaved, light beard, light stubble and heavy stubble).
Based on the results of the data obtained from 60 women, it was discovered that women are most attracted to men with light beard, followed by men with stubble. The results of the study were reported in the peer reviewed journal Personality and Individual Differences (3).
3. Body Odor:
Besides facial features and body hair, certain other characteristics (such as sweat odor) can also have a huge impact on the women at the time of ovulation. High testosterone levels are associated with bigger sweat glands and ducts (and higher secretion of sweat) due to increased basal metabolism. At the time of ovulation, hormonal fluctuations tend to influence the mood, behavior and bodily responses to sexual stimuli. According to a new study reported in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal (4), the sense of smell and taste heightens in the fertile women during ovulation. This greatly improves the chances of men who secretes pheromones (or male scent in sweat).
4. Male Voice:
As crazy as it may sound, scientists actually decided to investigate the possible link between male’s voice and sperm count. In order to test the theory to explore if sexy deep voices are associated with the quality of semen, scientists asked few young men to get their voice recorded and also collected their semen samples. Later on, the quality of sperms from the collected semen sample were examined and the recorded voices were played in front of few women. Researchers asked the women to rate those voices on the basis of sex appeal and attraction. As per researcher’s expectations, the deeper voices were perceived as more captivating, but surprisingly, the attractive and muscular voice pitch does not found to be very strong associated with the quality of semen.
In short, manly traits may or may not be associated with high testosterone levels, but is very strongly linked to fertility in men.
1. Cunningham, M. R., Barbee, A. P., & Pike, C. L. (1990). What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness. Journal of personality and social psychology, 59(1), 61.
2. Atkinson, J., Pipitone, R. N., Sorokowska, A., Sorokowski, P., Mberira, M., Bartels, A., & Gallup Jr, G. G. (2012). Voice and handgrip strength predict reproductive success in a group of indigenous African females. PloS one, 7(8), e41811.
3. Neave, N., & Shields, K. (2008). The effects of facial hair manipulation on female perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance in male faces. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(5), 373-377.
4. Thornhill, R., Chapman, J. F., & Gangestad, S. W. (2013). Women’s preferences for men’s scents associated with testosterone and cortisol levels: Patterns across the ovulatory cycle. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(3), 216-221.
5. Simmons, L. W., Peters, M., & Rhodes, G. (2011). Low pitched voices are perceived as masculine and attractive but do they predict semen quality in men?. PloS one, 6(12), e29271.