The mating business just got more complex: A new study has found that when stressed, men get drawn to a wider range of women.
Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the research claimed that individuals are usually attracted to partners with similar facial features to their own, but after a brief but stressful experience, blokes' preferences change to include a wider variety of women.
In the study, boffins found that relaxed males rated women on average 14 percent less appealing if they looked very different from themselves compared with women who looked similar. But a group of stressed men found dissimilar women 9 percent more attractive.
The study included 50 healthy heterosexual male students, reports The Guardian.
Johanna Lass-Hennemann, who led the study at the University of Trier in Germany, said: "Men have a tendency to approach dissimilar mates and to rate these to be more pleasant when they are acutely stressed."
Lass-Hennemann added:"[But] we are not sure how this might reflect in true mating decisions."
The scientist speculates that stress might increase men's tendency to "outbreed", or reproduce with more genetically dissimilar women, with the potential benefit that any children born from the relationship might be better equipped to cope with a stressful environment.
"We think that chronically stressful environments should increase outbreeding, because inbreeding may lead to offspring that are not genetically diverse enough to deal with the varying circumstances that a risky and stressful environment imposes on them," she said. (ANI)