Forget the bromance: Hanging out with attractive women makes men feel better than they do around other men, a new study finds. Just being around the fairer sex boosts men’s levels of testosterone and cortisol, hormones that improve alertness and well-being. In the trials, just five minutes around attractive women boosted testosterone 14% and corisol, an anti-stress hormone, by 48%.
Around other men, however, those levels fall. The study shows that humans are subject to the “mating response” long observed in other animals. “It all boils down to sex,” says one biological anthropologist. “High levels of testosterone are associated with boosting sexual performance, whereas cortisol helps focus your energy and helps you deal with anxiety.”