14/08/2014 12:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Having A Baby Makes Men Feel More Handsome And Virile

Having a baby makes men feel more handsome and virile

A study in America has revealed that men feel more handsome after the birth of their children.

Researchers at the University of California polled couples about about how attractive they felt on a scale ranging from 'very ugly' to 'perfectly beautiful' or 'ultimately handsome' when they became parents.

The findings revealed that while women felt 'uglier' after having a baby, male self-esteem was boosted, with dads overwhelmingly feeling more attractive.

One of the reasons behind the increase in male confidence was said to be the physical proof of their virility with the arrival off their child.

The researchers quizzed 182 US couples just after their marriage, and again close to their first and second wedding anniversaries.

In that two-year-period, 48 of the couples had a baby. The study found that those women who did not give birth felt more attractive over time, yet those who had felt less appealing.

The Journal of Gender Studies reports that in contrast, having a child boosted a man's opinion of himself.

Researcher Alicia Cast said mums could be struggling to cope with the physical changes to their body following childbirth.

"First-time mothers report surprise at the extent to which their bodies have changed and how long it takes to 'get their bodies back' which can lead to women feeling frumpy," she said. "They become more self-critical regarding their appearance as a result of the pregnancy."

Men,meanwhile, feel their masculinity is confirmed by fathering a child.

"Men who are diagnosed as infertile report feeling their masculinity threatened," Dr Cast said.

"So, for men, having a child may serve to enhance feelings of masculinity, resulting in men feeling more attractive. The fact that the women were negatively affected and the men were positively affected by the birth of a child is consistent with other research that suggests that men are less likely than women to experience the 'costs' of having children."

She added that research suggests that husbands place more importance on having children and are more likely to say they want children than women are.

However The Mail reports that dads' belief in their looks soon fades – with Dr Cast adding that her
research was based on data from the 1990s, and that more research is needed to check the same scenario is true today.

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