According to the Telegraph researchers found that just being in the presence of a pretty member of the opposite sex causes a temporary boost in levels of testosterone and cortisol. However hanging around with other men has the opposite affect – reducing the levels of both substances in the body.
The researchers at the University of California carried out the study to see if humans replicated the boost found in animals known as the “mating response”. They recruited 149 male students aged between 18 and 24 with a third interacting with a male researcher of 25 and the others talking to one of seven young female undergraduates aged 18 to 22.
After the short five minute sessions the men were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of the women between one and seven. The average was 5.83 showing they found them alluring.
The participants then swished with mouthwash before providing a sample of saliva into a collection vial which was tested within 20 to 40 minutes of exposure to the women.
Psychologists found that just a five minute talk with an attractive women raised the levels of testosterone by 14 per cent and the anti-stress hormone cortisol by 48 per cent. Spending the same time with men saw the hormones drop two per cent and seven per cent respectively.
Dr Leslie Knapp, a biological anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, said the response was evolutionary and was to do with finding and competing for possible mates. “It all boils down to sex,” she said. “High levels of testosterone are associated with boosting sexual performance whereas cortisol helps focus your energy and helps you deal with anxiety.”
Err why am I not surprised! The researchers should have observed this overweight, talentless loser last year at a picnic in Versailles with several talented, charming and beautiful Iranian women.... or dinner with six talented, charming and beautiful Iranian women and a Finnish dancer. They could have seen the testosterone and cortisol fountaining from the top of my head through a reopened fonatnelle!