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Women Like Rosy-Cheeked Men: Study

Update Date: Oct 10, 2012 10:24 AM EDT

So it is not only men who find blushing pink cheeks attractive. Apparently, even women can get flirty with rosy cheeked men.

According to a new study, by researchers at the University of St Andrews, women prefer men with a brightly coloured skintone because it indicates a strong alpha-male with dominant genes.

However, too much redness could be harmful as it would signal aggression and put women off.

For the study, carried out by Professor David Perrett of the University's Perception Lab in collaboration with colleagues at the universities of Nottingham and Durham, the researchers asked women to manipulate pictures of men to make them look more attractive.

It was found that all the women changed the color of men's skin, to make it redder.

According to researchers, this could be because rosy cheeks indicate good blood circulation and hence indicates good health in a potential partner.  

"We have shown that increased redness enhances the appearance of dominance, aggression and attractiveness in men's faces when viewed by women," Professor David Perrett, a psychologist at the University of St Andrews, commented.  

The research findings suggest a similarity to female birds being more attracted to brightly colored males.

"This is something we share with many other species. For example, the bright yellow beaks and feathers of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is. What's more, females of these species prefer to mate with brighter, more colored males. But this is the first study in which this has been demonstrated in humans," Professor Perrett said.

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