Looking strong there! Perceived physical strength in men is attractive but may come at a cost to ejaculate quality
Studies of sexual selection acting on physical strength in humans have focused mostly on its role in pre-mating male-male competition. Recent theoretical frameworks suggest that male strength could be subject to trade-offs with post-mating sperm competitiveness. In this talk, I will present findings from a recent study examining whether male strength is linked to sperm quality. The study also investigated whether strength is attractive to women and affects male mating success. Perceived strength was negatively associated with semen quality as predicted by the trade-off hypothesis. Perceived strength positively predicted attractiveness and both perceived strength and attractiveness shared similar variance in predicting mating success. The findings indicate that despite the benefits to pre-mating sexual selection, having greater strength may come at a cost to sperm competitiveness.