Attractive Males Have Smaller Balls, Study Suggests

A 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that males with smaller testicles tend to be more attractive to females. While the study was done on primates, given that they’re our closest relatives as humans, the theory could hold true with men as well. So, what’s behind this finding?

  1. You can’t have everything. The natural world seems to favor this idea. Per IFLScience, male species have smaller testicles and less impressive manhoods in order to be more physically attractive. Since you see someone’s appearance before you know what they’re packing in their jeans, there’s a biological advantage to this trade-off.
  2. The male animals that appear most visually pleasing to possible mates all have features that make them stand out. For instance, orangutans have facial flanges that give them a distinctive appearance. To put it in human terms, think about how bearded men seem more “manly” and rough and tumble to many straight women. It starts to make a lot more sense in this light.
  3. The study looked at these pleasing physical features and the size of the primates’ testicles. Researchers were thorough, too, looking at 103 different species. Those who were the most “ornamental,” or conventionally attractive, tended to have the smallest balls, as it turned out.
  4. So, what does it mean? Scientists believe that if a man is physically attractive, he doesn’t really need to “compete” as much for females, meaning there’s no need to be super virile. As for those who are less attractive, they need to bring something to the table in the form of sperm production. Thus, bigger balls. Amazing, right?
  5. It’s a fascinating find, to say the least. In conclusion, study author Stefan Lupold from the University of Zurich said that “ornament elaboration comes at the expense of testicle size and sperm production. In a nutshell, the showiest males have the smallest testes.”
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
close-link
close-link
close-link
close-link