Why women coo over babies more than men
Women are much better at spotting a ‘cute’ baby than men, according to new research.
Psychologists at St Andrews University found that young women were more able to distinguish a ‘cute’ baby by its chubby cheeks, big round eyes and button nose.
Women who had already gone through the menopause and men generally struggled to tell the difference.
The researchers believe it’s all down to a hormone produced during a woman’s child-bearing years.
Women on the pill, which artificially raises hormone levels, were also found to have heightened ‘cuteness sensitivity‘.
‘We found that young women between 19-26 and (women aged) 45-51 years were more sensitive to differences in infant cuteness than men aged 19-26 and 53-60 years,’ said Doctor Reiner Sprengelmeyer.
‘Because average age at menopause is 51 years in the UK, these findings suggest the possible involvement of reproductive hormones in cuteness sensitivity.
‘We therefore compared cuteness discrimination in pre- and post-menopausal women of the same age alongside women taking and not taking oral contraceptives (progesterone and oestrogen).
‘Pre-menopausal women and young women taking oral contraceptives — which raise hormone levels artificially — were more sensitive to variations of cuteness than their respective comparison groups.’
Further research is planned to explore whether cuteness sensitivity is a factor in post-natal depression.