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Attraction 'down to testosterone'

15 September 08 11:05 GMT

High testosterone in women makes them more attracted to masculine actors such as Daniel Craig, with men favouring the femininity typified by Natalie Portman.

The claim has been made by the University of Aberdeen's Face Research Laboratory.

Their research says that changes in testosterone levels affect the extent to which men and women are attracted to different types of faces.

This is rather than people being attracted to particular types.

James Bond actor Daniel Craig and fellow star of the big screen Russell Crowe were highlighted as masculine.

Star Wars actress Natalie Portman and Lost star Evangeline Lilly were said to typify feminine faces.

The researchers asked male and female volunteers to complete short face preference tests in which they were shown pairs of masculine and feminine faces.

Participants were asked to choose which face from each pair was more attractive.

They completed four different test sessions that were each a week apart.

In each session, volunteers also provided a saliva sample which was used to measure testosterone levels.

Fluctuation affect

Dr Ben Jones, a psychology lecturer, said: "People preferred different types of face in the session where their testosterone level was highest than in the session where it was lowest.

"When men's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to feminine women. When women's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to masculine men.

"Since masculine men and feminine women are thought to produce the healthiest children and sex drive is higher when testosterone levels are also high, these findings suggest that men and women in hormonal states where their interest in sex is highest, show stronger attraction to high quality - or healthy - mates."

Colleague Dr Lisa Welling added: "We tend to think that attraction is relatively stable over time.

"However, our research shows that attraction is affected by fluctuations in testosterone levels."

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