Macho Men Have So-So Sperm

Tradeoff between looks and virility might be at play, says study
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser User
Posted Sep 9, 2014 4:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Macho guys may attract more women, but the quality of their sperm might not be of he-man standards, a new study suggests. Oddly, the sperm of good-looking guys—but not necessarily macho ones with square jaws and distinct cheekbones—is just fine, reports Medical Daily. The link was found when researchers analyzed the semen of 62 Caucasian men, then compared its motility and structure to facial measurements of masculine traits and ratings of their attractiveness, the Huffington Post explains. Scientists theorize that the macho man trades virility for a gravely voice and ripped arms, and high testosterone hinders sperm production.

Meanwhile, the study casts doubt on the belief the "phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis" (read: fancy feathers and pretty songs attract more ladies) applies to humans. A study that claimed short guys are preferred by women over tall ones, long believed to have the evolutionary upper hand, has also poked holes in that theory. But don't revamp your mating habits just yet, girls—researchers say their findings need further study. (Short guys are also less likely to divorce you.)

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