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What Kind of Women Do Stressed Men Prefer?

Saturday, April 17th 2010. | Health

In a state of stress, men are attracted to women with facial features different from their own, while in a balanced state of mind, they are more drawn to women who they share the same features with, according to scientists at the Saarland University in Germany. Why is that?

Stress

A vast body of previous research already showed men tend to prefer women who bear a similarity to themselves or their mothers. One of the reasons behind this is men’s need to trust their partner for long-term relationship. Subjects were shown 30 erotic pics featuring women whose faces were altered to resemble the facial features of the subjects themselves to find out if the need becomes less compelling on men in a state of stress. During the viewing, a half of subjects kept their hands in a container with warm water to soothe them into relaxation, while the other half had to immerse their hands into ice cold water, which induced stress. The experiment showed the stress made men change their preferences drastically.

Researchers believe the response reflects the protection mechanism developed in the course of evolution. The mechanism implies that, at hard times, men seek for partners genetically different from them, which reduces the odds of crossing with relatives and increases offspring survival rate.

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