The results of the study unveil links between the exposure of males to hormones in the womb, the development of physical traits due to this exposure, and the effect it has on the opposite sex.
Previous studies show that the size ratio between the third and fourth fingers, especially on the right hand, is a reliable indicator of the extent that a male is exposed to testosterone while still in the womb. Apparently, the larger the gap between the ring finger and index finger, the greater the impact of the hormone on the male.
This new study, led by scientist Camille Ferdenzi, interviewed more than 80 women between the ages of 18-34. The women looked at photos of men of similar ages and they were asked to evaluate them for both masculinity and attractiveness. Smaller groups of women also listened to voice recordings of the men and smelled samples of their body odor on cotton pads that the men worn under their arms for a day.
"The aim was to understand what makes a man attractive." Ferdenzi said in an interview.
The results from the group of women who looked only at photos were somewhat ambiguous. "The longer the ring finer compared to the index - that is the greater exposure of testosterone - the more attractive the face was rate." Ferdenzi said.
The study also found that symmetry in a males face was also highly correlated with his apparent attractiveness.
Interestingly, the women in the smaller group that heard male voices and smelled the body odor did not consistently label the same "attractive" men as "masculine". Ferdenzi speculates that this could be due to the fact that voice and odor are affected by testosterone as an adult rather than in the womb.
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