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November 19, 2010

Cortisol, a detector of male sex-appeal?

American researchers asked young women ages 17 to 22 years to look at one of 4 of the following video sequences: (1) an attractive man courting a young women (2) a nature documentary (3) an old man not very seducing courting with a young women (4) an attractive women. They measured the salivary cortisol before the presentation of the video sequences and 30 minutes prior to the end of the presentation. The results revealed an increase in salivary cortisol, but only in the case of the first video sequence (1). One of the functions of the activation of the stress system is to mobilize bodily energy. In front of an attractive man, would women mobilize energy to deploy all their seductive powers?

Title: Attractive men induce testosterone and cortisol release in women.

Authors: Hassan H. Lopez, Aleena C. Hay, Phoebe H. Conklin.

Laboratory: Psychology Department, Skidmore College

Journal: Hormones and Behavior (2009) vol. 56 pp. 84-92

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.03.004

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