Some people may say nice eyes get them going, while others say a manly, chiseled jaw or big strong arms. With any luck, these traits of an "optimal" mate would be genetically encoded and would be passed on to the man's offspring a€” so a female wants to choose a man with good genes and a healthy immune system.
Masculine looking males were believed to be a good indicator of good mate choice because their looks were thought to indicate better genes and a stronger immune system, one that could take on the negative effects of high testosterone levels (which make men more prone to infection).
A new study, published today Nov 27 in the journalA Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, switches that on its head. Twenty-nine women in the fertile stage of their menstrual cycle (meaning they were more receptive to sexual cues, and more responsive to masculinity) rated pictures of 69 young white males of all body sizes by their attractiveness, masculinity, and body fat. They then took these rating and compared them to how well the men's immune system responded to a Hepatitis B vaccine. The results showed that a man's masculinity rating didn't mean he was more attractive, and also didn't mean that his immune system worked better. On the other hand, body fat was linked to attractiveness, high testosterone levels, and a stronger immune system. When he was above normal body fat a€” obese or overweight a€” the immune system was negatively impacted.
From their data, the researchers made a composite image of the bottom eight men with the cruddiest immune systems on the left, and the eight men with the best on the right.

Chris Hemsworth had to build 9kg of real-life brawn to play Thor, transforming his frame to fill out the title role of the literally thunderous film of the same name. But what’s surprising, considering the sheer size of the man now, is that before preparing for his hammer-slinging part, the 27-year old had barely set foot inside a gym. Remodelling a physique built on a background of sports and athletics presented particular challenges. Please tick if you would prefer not to receive news & special offers from Hearst Magazines UK. Evolutionarily, though, a man's body fat, not masculine features, is a better indicator of how attractive of a mate he would be, a new study suggests.
The researchers found that a man's waist size is more important than how masculine his face is, when it comes to attractiveness and good immune systems. He proved that you don’t need to be a veteran weights-room gorilla to add serious bulk to your upper body.
The aim of his workouts was to build dense muscle that would look super-realistic in the context of a mythological blockbuster.
To cut up, rather than bulking any further, he switched his workouts to metabolic circuits and (thankfully) scaled back the eating.
He is staying active and athletic without carrying quite the same bulk that he had at his peak.

But, what you do need is a larger-than-life workout, a few judicious nutritional tweaks and a bit of willpower.
For example, when he needed carbs to give him the energy to train, he replaced rice with quinoa. By never allowing his muscles to adapt to the workout, he was always breaking them down, forcing them to recover stronger and more defined. But the gains he made in his extraordinary introduction to the gym means that rebuilding the impressive Norse physique will become a little easier every time he does it.
With five more outings for Thor planned, building superhero size may become an everyday duty for the man. Before the lifting began, Hemsworth had to sign up to one of the first tenets of building bulk: you have to feed like a wild boar on a sugar crash.
He was struck by the sheer relentlessness of the need to stuff himself with lean protein and organic broccoli.

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