That might not be such a ridiculous-sounding question, now that a new study has identified a link betweenÂ menâ€™s facial attractiveness and the quality of their semenâ€“with handsome, masculine-looking guys having slightly lower-quality semen than other men.
â€œTo [the] best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the phenomenon,â€ study co-authorÂ Dr. Jukka Kekalainen, adjunct lecturer in the Centre for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Australia in Crawley, told The Huffington Post in an email.
The researchers have no readyexplanation for their finding, although previous research has shown that high testosterone levels can harm sperm production, the New York Daily News reported. And the finding seems to be at odds with the so-calledÂ phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis, which holds that females prefer handsome males because their offspring may enjoy hereditary benefits, such as better health and higher intelligence.
For the new study, which was published in the September 2014 issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, a team of researchers from Spain, Australia, and Colombia performed semen analyses on 50 Caucasian students recruited from the University of Valencia. Next, photos of the menâ€™s faces were shown to heterosexual men and women in their twenties, including Caucasians and blacks.
The women evaluators were asked to rate the men as if they were looking for a long-term mate. The men evaluators were asked to rate the men as they thought women would rate them.
The researchers also performed an â€œanthropometric analysisâ€ of the facial characteristics of all 50 men, measuring the size of their eyes, the width of their cheekbones and nostrils, and other markers that previous research identified as masculine features. And finally the researchers compared the menâ€™s facial features with the motility (movement), morphology (structure), and concentration of the menâ€™s sperm cells.
In addition to looking for the link between masculine-looking faces and sperm quality, the researchers wanted to know if menâ€™s sperm quality was related to their handsomeness.
â€œAnd we found that in fact it is,â€ Kekalainen said in the email.
But does that mean women eager to find a mate capable of fathering children should be wary of handsome men? Maybe notâ€“at least not until more research corroborates the finding. As Kekalainen said in the email, â€œwe would need more studies to demonstrate the causation and mechanism behind this findingâ€¦before giving any mating tips to the females.â€
Source: Huffington Post