Note to handsome men: The following study can lower your self-confidence. And note to women: If you are looking to start a family, you may want to consider striking out handsome men from your bucket list.
Contrary to what one might expect, researchers have found that facial masculinity is negatively associated with semen quality. So, if you want to make healthy and intelligent babies, do not blindly scan through handsome faces to decide your partner. And this is certified by scientists!
‘As increased levels of testosterone have been demonstrated to impair sperm production, this finding may indicate a trade-off between investments in secondary sexual signaling (facial masculinity) and fertility,’ researchers said.
Using a new technique called Phenotype Linked Fertility Hypothesis (PLFH), the study investigated whether potential ability to select fertile partners is independent of factors such as sex and cultural background.
During the study, 62 Caucasian male students from the University of Valencia, Spain, were recruited. All the males were asked to abstain from sex and masturbation for three to five days prior to the semen collection.
Semen analysis for 50 males was performed after liquefaction of ejaculated semen. Sperm motility and concentration were measured according to the World Health Organization criteria (WHO).
Each male subject was photographed for frontal and right-profile facial photographs. All the color photographs were scanned and a black oval mask was placed over the images to minimize the visual effect of hairstyle.
‘Interestingly, males estimated the facial images to be more attractive than females, suggesting that males generally overestimate the attractiveness of other men to females,’ researchers noted.
This suggests that male facial cues may provide culture and sex-independent information about male fertility.