They can spend all your money in five minutes, attract the worst instincts in your buddies, and were the cause of literature’s most epic 10-year war. Now scientists have found another reason to be suspicious of beautiful women — they can be bad for your health, Guys.
Just five minutes alone with an attractive women raise the levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, according to a study from the University of Valencia, the Telegraph reports. The effects are worst for men who might think they are not “in the same league” as the woman now sharing their space but still try to attract her interest, scientists claim.
For those men, their anxiety rate is said to be similar to jumping from an aircraft. Their cortisol levels rise even higher, bringing on the possibility of heart attacks and strokes.
“Exposure to physical or psychological stresses for a long period of time may cause chronically elevated cortisol levels. That can have adverse effects on health as it worsens various disorders, such as myopathy, adult-onset diabetes, hypertension and impotency,” said the research team.
They paid 84 male students £10 each to take part in an experiment – approved by the Faculty of Psychology’s ethical committee – by asking each one to sit in a room and solve a Sudoku puzzle. Two strangers, one male and one female, were also in the room.
When the female stranger left the room and the two men remained sitting together, the volunteer’s stress levels did not rise. However, when the volunteer was left alone with the female stranger, his cortisol levels rose.
The researchers concluded: “In this study we considered that for most men the presence of an attractive woman may induce the perception that there is an opportunity for courtship.
“While some men might avoid attractive women since they think they are ‘out of their league’, the majority would respond with apprehension and a concurrent hormonal response.
“This study showed that male cortisol levels increased after exposure to a five-minute short social contact with a young, attractive woman.”
Cortisol can have a positive effect in small doses, improving alertness and well-being. However, in high quantities cortisol can lead to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and impotency. [via Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail (UK)]