Both male and female volunteers rated the faces of the women with the highest hormone levels as the most attractive.The question remains whether a similar rule holds for men. I’ll go out on a limb and say make-up is not the most relevant form of external effort for men. Exercise might be. Now, if (and it’s a big if) testosterone plays the same role in affecting men’s innate beauty as estrogen plays in affecting women’s, my guess is that innate beauty and external effort would be complements for men, since men’s bodies with the most testosterone would probably be most responsive to exercise. However, this conclusion is contingent on women actually finding the most testosterone-laden men the most naturally attractive.
These faces tended to have classically feminine features, such as larger eyes and lips and smaller noses and jaws.
However, when the women in the photographs were wearing make-up, no relationship between attractiveness and oestrogen was found. …
Head of the study, Miriam Law Smith, said: … "Make-up can improve appearance across the board, but it will obviously help people who are less attractive more." [emphasis mine]
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Posted by Glen Whitman at 11:12 AM
Earlier, I asked whether innate beauty and external effort are complements or substitutes in producing attractiveness. Three readers have now informed me that the verdict is in: they’re substitutes. In general, women with higher levels of estrogen are perceived as more attractive -- but the use of make-up shrinks or even eliminates the attractiveness gap.
Labels: the rational romantic