This article, titled "Beautiful women can be bad for your health," would be better if it read: "Men stressed after being left alone with 'attractive' woman while playing Sudoku." Because that's the real problem here. Seriously.
The study examined 84 young men from the University of Valencia. They asked the students to try to complete a Sudoku (a stressful event in and of itself) while sitting in a room with two strangers, one male and one female. When the woman left the room, leaving the two men alone, stress levels remained the same. When the man left, stress levels rose.
In this study we considered that for most men the presence of an attractive woman may induce the perception that there is an opportunity for courtship... While some men might avoid attractive women since they think they are 'out of their league', the majority would respond with apprehension and a concurrent hormonal response.
They go on to add that stress hormones can "can have adverse effects on health as it worsens various disorders, such as myopathy, adult-onset diabetes, hypertension and impotency." Hear that, ladies? You're killing men by stressing them out. Stop being so pretty — or "out of their league," whatever that really means - and all their problems will be solved.
But in all seriousness, the thing that irks me about this news is not really the study itself, nor the somewhat misleading and hysterical headlines. It's the fact that Angelina Jolie is the Telegraph's chosen image. I am not sure when Jolie became shorthand for "most beautiful woman" (and Meghan Fox became the go-to "hot girl") but I'm getting sick of her reign of beauty. Surely there are other attractive women we can use to represent our (still unfortunately rigid) standards of attractiveness? For today, I nominate Kerry Washington, but if another study comes out tomorrow, I fully intend to mix it up. Maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal. Or Mindy Kaling.
Beautiful Women Can Be Bad For Your Health, According To Scientists [Telegraph]
Just Five Minutes With A Beautiful Stranger Can Be Bad For The Heart [News.com.au]