Attractive men have healthier, faster sperm, according to a new study reported by New Scientist magazine last week. Scientists at the University of Valencia found that women judged men with symmetrical features to be more physically attractive, and that those men also tended to have better quality sperm. The group say their findings show that 'women are able to recognise reproductively fit males on the basis of their facial appearance alone'.
The researchers showed front and side photos of 66 male students to 66 women, who then rated their attractiveness. The men's semen quality was measured according to World Health Organisation guidelines, to assess the motility, appearance and number of their sperm. The team then chose twelve men from the good, bad and normal semen groups, and asked two sets of women to rate their photos for attractiveness. They found that those men judged to be more attractive tended to have better looking, more active sperm. However, they found no link between physical appearance and sperm concentration. The scientists say that although women seek attractive men who are healthy and can father children, factors such as social and economic status also influence their choice of partner. The study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.