Looking good may make you feel good, but it could be having the opposite effect on the men around you. In fact, a new study out of Spain shows that your mere presence may create a health problem for a man.
Researchers had men sit in a room and do a sudoku puzzle while a male stranger and attractive female stranger were also in the room. When the woman left the two men alone, instruments measured no change in the volunteers; however, when left alone with the woman for just five minutes, the volunteers’ cortisol levels markedly rose.
Cortisol is a hormone released in the body when a person undergoes psychological stress, and it’s known to worsen conditions like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
“In this study we considered that for most men the presence of an attractive woman may induce the perception that there is an opportunity for courtship,” the researchers wrote. “While some men might avoid attractive women since they think they are ‘out of their league’, the majority would respond with apprehension and a concurrent hormonal response.”
Luckily, a small dose of cortisol can have a positive effect, such as improving alertness. However, too much can pose a threat to a person’s health.
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