Psychopaths are more attractive to women

There is a link between high testosterone levels in men and attractiveness to women. They did a study that showed that women, asked to choose for attractiveness from a pool of photographs, consistently chose men with higher levels of testosterone.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, destroys testosterone. The more stressed a person is, the higher the cortisol levels and the lower the testosterone. Stress is produced when humans are in situations where they are uncomfortable, physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Psychopaths do not care. It is what makes them psychopaths. This removes two of the realms of human stress from their psyches. They can never be stressed emotionally. They can never be stressed psychologically. They simply do not care.

So in a pack of 100 men, viewed under varying social circumstance, 1 or 2 of them will never be stressed, will always have high levels of testosterone and will consistently rank higher in attractiveness to most women.

So I would say we are slowly becoming more psychopathic. And as our culture is becoming more accepting of the behavior, we are not doing a very good job at identifying or protecting ourselves from these unfortunate people.

Psychologist Robert Hare has argued that psychopathy does indeed have a genetic component. He has observed how many (male) psychopaths have a pattern of mating with, and quickly abandoning women, and as a result, have a high fertility rate. His contention is that these children may inherit a predisposition to psychopathy.

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Are humans becoming more or less psychopathic?
Readers of this blog know that I've started to develop a bit of a fascination with psychopathy. It all got started after attending the Moral Brain conference at NYU last April. The more I look int…

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  1. Byron Hale says:

    Chris, psychopaths are often visibly weird an unattractive. Some indications are that human progress is tied to cooperation, although it can reverse course under stress, say global warming or cooling.

  2. Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez says:

    Judging from the way women and girls like me I must be a psychopath!

  3. Byron Hale says:

    You just seem to have the proverbial male ego. :-)

  4. Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez says:

    No, I'm just a psychopath!

  5. Alice Cabrera says:

    +Byron Hale that's wrong. Psychopaths can be very charming. After all
    We are talking a disorder that is associated with con men ;). They do not understand/empathize but that doesn't mean they can't realize other people frown on things (they just cannot understand why). And they can easily be manipulative and act charming (and not care that they are about to hurt you, that's your own fault for falling for it).

  6. Sheye Anne Blaze says:

    +Brian Hale
    'Psychopath' is not even a diagnosis in the DSM IV. What most people consider to be a psychopath is a sociopath. From previous studies, most sociopaths are very good at blending into their surroundings as they have little or no compunctions about the deception.

    +Chris George
    The testosterone link is fascinating. Thanks for posting this.

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