Stress makes its mark on the female face, according to a new study that finds men judge women with high levels of a stress hormone less attractive.
The finding is a gender turnaround on previous research that has found that women go for low-stress guys, too. Stress can suppress fertility, said study researcher Markus Rantala, a professor of biology at the University of Turku in Finland. Thus, Rantala told LiveScience, it's no surprise that both men and women might have evolved to prefer chilled-out faces.
But the new study does suggest one intriguing gender difference: Men weren't more attracted to women with stronger immune systems, another factor that can show up in facial features. Even so, previous research on men's judgments of beauty has found that women prefer guys with strong immune responses.