Women in nations with higher rates of ill health and disease prefer "he-men" over less masculine-looking guys, according to psychologists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
The researchers used the Internet to recruit more than 4,500 young adult women in 30 countries and asked them to look at a number of photos of the same man. In some photos, the man's face was changed to look either square-jawed and masculine, while in other photos he looked slim-jawed and feminine, Agence France Presse reported.
Women in countries with lower national health index ratings -- based on factors such as life expectancy, death rates and prevalence of communicable diseases -- were more likely to prefer the more masculine-looking photos.
The results show mating choices may differ according to country and culture, but only because of variations in the local environment, said lead researcher Lisa DeBruine, AFP reported.
The study appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.