Pretty women may make men nervous but blokes do feel good when they flirt with them, a new study has revealed.
Researchers have found that just being in the presence of an attractive member of the opposite sex causes a temporary surge in levels of testosterone, which is linked with the male libido, and cortisol associated with alertness and wellbeing.
However hanging around with other men has the opposite affect -- reducing the levels of both substances in the body, the study found.
Lead researcher Dr James Roney said the increases did replicate the boosts found in animals. "Both testosterone and cortisol increased among men who spoke with women but declined among men who interacted with other men."For their study, the researchers, led by California University, recruited 149 male students aged between 18 and 24 with a third interacting with a male researcher of 25 and the others talking to one of seven female graduates aged 18 to 22.
After the short five minute sessions, the men were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of the women between one and seven. The average was 5.83 showing they found them alluring, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
The participants then swished with mouthwash before providing a sample of saliva into a collection vial which was tested within 20 to 40 minutes of exposure to the women.
The study found that just a five minute talk with an attractive women raised the levels of testosterone by 14 per cent and the anti-stress hormone cortisol by 48 per cent. Spending the same time with men saw the hormones drop two per cent and seven per cent respectively, it found.
The findings have been published in the 'Proceedings of the Royal Society B' journal.