Could Human Physical Attractiveness and Immune System Function Be Connected?

CC0 / Pixabay / Facial recognition
Facial recognition - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2022
The new research involved comparing the attractiveness of a group of young adults, as rated by another group of people, to the state of their immune systems and the level of inflammation in their bodies.
A team of researchers has established a potential link between a person's attractiveness and their immune system function.
The authors of the new study, which was published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal, state the results of their work “revealed multiple, sometimes sex-differentiated, relationships between targets' immune function and others’ perceptions of their attractiveness.”
The research involved facial images of 159 adults being rated for attractiveness by 492 people recruited on Amazon's Mechanical Turk survey hosting platform, with the results then being compared to the results of tests the first group was subjected to. The tests included the assessment of the first group's members' immune system state and the level of inflammation in their bodies, as well as their self-reported health.
The researchers have concluded that those participants who were regarded as attractive had “relatively healthier immune function, especially in regards to bacterial immunity," as ScienceAlert puts it.
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The media outlet also points out that the team apparently did not find any link between “higher inflammation and attractiveness."
“It is also possible that links between attractiveness and health may be obscured in modern humans, given that human mate preferences were forged before the advent of modern medicine,” the researchers note. “That is, although attractiveness may have cued both health and immune function in ancestral populations, the links with health may no longer occur as modern medicine allows those with low immunocompetence to stay in relatively good health.”
The team also stated that, while further research is needed to “replicate these results," their work “suggests that a relationship between facial attractiveness and immune function is likely to exist.”
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