The attractiveness of a woman depends on her hormone levels, a new study has found.
According to researchers at the University of St Andrews, UK, women's facial attractiveness is directly related to their oestrogen levels.
Miriam Law Smith and her colleagues photographed 59 women, aged between 18 and 25, every week for six weeks. On each occasion, they provided a urine sample for hormone analysis and gave information on where they were in their menstrual cycle. None of the women wore make-up, nor were they taking the contraceptive pill.
The researchers then selected the photograph of each woman that had been taken at the time of her highest urine-oestrogen level, and this correlated to the point of ovulation in the women's menstrual cycles. These photographs were rated by 14 men and 15 women for attractiveness, health and femininity.
"There was a very strong and direct correlation between the level of each woman's oestrogen and how attractive, healthy and feminine they were found to be, showing that fertility is related to attractiveness. It is likely that those women with higher hormone levels also had increased levels of oestrogen during puberty - the time when the hormone has a crucial role in determining facial appearance," New Scientist quoted Law Smith as saying.
She said that the amount of oestrogen produced by a person's body during the average seven-year-long puberty is largely determined by heredity, and the hormone has lasting effects on bone growth and tissue formation as well as the skin's appearance.
Smith, however, cautions that teenage girls should not be given doses of oestrogen in the hope that they will grow into more beautiful women, because the hormone may have side effects.
Asian News International
London, November 2, 2005