How signals work on the dance floor

Here is some new research:

The results showed that women gave the highest attractiveness ratings to men with the highest levels of prenatal testosterone. The men with the lowest testosterone in turn got the lowest attractiveness ratings. "Men can communicate their testosterone levels through the way they dance," Lovatt told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "And women understand it — without noticing it."

In women, the link between dancing style and testosterone levels were similar — but the reaction of men was just the opposite. Dancers with high levels of testosterone moved more parts of their body, with their movements being somewhat uncoordinated, while those with lower testosterone made more subtle movements, especially with their hips. The male students found the latter style most appealing…

The men who got the female students hot under the collar danced with large movements which were "complexly coordinated." But it's a fine line between hot and not, however: Those men who made big moves but who were less coordinated came across as dominant alpha males — and were unlikely to win women's hearts. The researchers also found that the size and complexity of the dance moves decreased in parallel with testosterone levels.

The full story is here and the article is interesting throughout.  This bit on the researcher caught my eye:

Lovatt knows his subject matter well — he himself was a professional dancer until the age of 26. He performed in musicals in large venues around England and also worked on cruise ships. The thought of an academic career barely entered his head at the time. He wasn't even able to read until he was 23, having left school without any qualifications. When he looked at a page in a book, "all I saw was a big black block."


Comments for this post are closed