At least for males.
Do biological principles still truly apply to us in terms of attractiveness?
Previous studies showed how facial attractiveness and sporting performance in men is related. Researchers suggested that this could be indeed due to our biological principles on which evolutionary speaking, women tend to be of advantage when having a partner with good speed, skill and endurance.
However, most of the research in this field tend to focus only at men and on team sports. So, Tim Fawcett and colleagues at the University of Exeter, UK, wanted to understand deeper this mechanism. They asked participants to rate 156 men and women athletes' attractiveness based on their photos. All of those in the photographs competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the biathlon.
Results supported the previous research showing a highly significant correlation between attractiveness and sporting performance on males. But there was no such trend on the females. This entails that men's faces do indeed signal athletic abilities in some way and that women truly prefer faces that show endurance. Researchers aren't sure, however, what those specific facial cues are.
“There must be some kind of cues in those photographs that are enabling the women to judge sporting performance,” Fawcett told the Behaviour 2017 conference in Estoril, Portugal.
Moreover, the lack of such relationship on women isn't really very surprising. For one, several studies showed a strong link only between attractiveness and oestrogen (such hormone doesn't help in one's athletic ability). There also wasn't much evolutionary pressure on male to focus on a particular aspect of a possible partner.
Guess this solves the question on why jocks seem to attract almost every other girl back then. So, men, you might want to start exploring your athletic abilities. Never too late, never too late!
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