With nine months of pregnancy behind them and the prospect of endless sleepless nights ahead, it is little wonder that new mothers don't feel at their most attractive. New fathers, however, have no such qualms. In fact, they think they are more handsome than before.
The scientists who made the discovery said that having physical proof of virility may give the male ego a boost.
US researchers quizzed almost 200 couples about how attractive they felt on a scale ranging from 'very ugly' to 'perfectly beautiful' or 'ultimately handsome', reports dailymail.co.uk.
The men and women rated themselves right after their marriage and then again close to their first and second anniversaries.
The report says that 48 of the 182 couples had a baby during this two-year period. The women, who didn't have a child, felt more attractive over time.
However, the others felt less appealing after their baby was born, the Journal of Gender Studies reports.
University of California researcher Alicia Cast said: "New mothers may still be struggling to cope with the physical changes to their body. First-time mothers report surprise at the extent to which their bodies have changed and how long it takes to 'get their bodies back' which can lead to women feeling frumpy."
Fathers, on the other hand, feel better as they think having a child proves their masculinity.
"There are strong connections between virility, fertility and masculinity for men. Men who are diagnosed as infertile report feeling their masculinity threatened. So, for men, having a child may serve to enhance feelings of masculinity, resulting in men feeling more attractive," said the researcher.