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Stress Makes You Unattractive

Forget what it does to your health, stress makes women want you less.

Working a high-paying job can help you buy extravagant gifts for women, but being stressed out is likely to be a turn-off for them. According to a new study, men with a high level of the stress hormone cortisol are less attractive to women. Many times, women are attracted to rugged-looking men, those with strong jaws and chiseled cheekbones. Experts think that these features—which are driven by testosterone—signal a healthy immune system. When women select potential partners, they are drawn to men likely to have better health because this is also beneficial for their children who will inherit his genes. In the study, researchers asked women to rate the attractiveness of men using photos. The women gave higher marks to men with stronger immune systems, as measured using an antibody test. The researchers also found that men with stronger immune systems had higher levels of testosterone. (Relieve stress in five minutes.) "Women seem to be able to detect the men who've got the strongest immune response, and they seem to find them the most attractive," Fhionna R. Moore, Ph.D., one of the co-authors, told CNN. The relationship between testosterone, attractiveness and immune system, however, was weaker when the men had higher levels of cortisol. This hormone is part of the body’s fight-or-flight response, and helps us respond to threats. It is released both when the threat is real—like when a fire breaks out—or only perceived. Even everyday job stress can cause spikes in cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol are also linked to certain diseases, such as heart disease. If taking care of your health wasn’t a good enough reason to deal with stress, maybe your dating life will grab your attention.

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