What women want

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: August 2nd, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

What do women notice in a man?

Deep, soulful eyes? A warm smile? A cleft chin?

Try again.

New research shows women have an uncanny ability to look at a man’s face and know whether he is interested in children, a quality deemed attractive for long-term relationships.

Before we go further, keep in mind the same research shows that women can look at a man’s face and determine whether he has a high testosterone level, which makes him suitable for a short-term relationship.

But the study provides the first evidence that women are in tune with men’s affinity for children as well as their hormone concentrations.

To figure it out, researchers at the University of Chicago took saliva samples to measure testosterone in thirty-nine male undergraduates.

To determine their interest in children, the men were shown pairs of pictures, each of an adult and a baby. Five of the men expressed no interest in babies, while the rest expressed a range of interest. Some preferred the baby pictures exclusively.

Then researchers showed pictures of each man’s face to twenty-nine undergraduate women, who were asked which men were attractive as short-term and long-term romantic partners.

Sure enough, the women were able to zero in on the men who had the highest testosterone levels in their picks for short-term partners and the men who were most interested in children for long-term partners.

It goes to show, a man’s face even from a picture… can speak volumes.