Scientists have found that women in less-developed countries are more likely to prefer guys with faces that hint at high levels of testosterone than women in more-developed countries. …

“Testosterone is probably associated with a trade-off in women’s mate preferences,” Moore told LiveScience. “While on the one hand it may signal a strong, heritable immune system that women should benefit from obtaining for their offspring, it is also associated with negative personality characteristics such as aggression and low commitment to a relationship. So, the optimal solution to this trade-off depends upon current demands.” …

They found that these economic and social factors influenced which faces women found hot. In low-development countries, women preferred higher-testosterone faces. In these societies, women who liked these macho faces were also more likely to rate high-cortisol faces as attractive. In high-development countries, such as the United States, women preferred less testosterone and less cortisol. …

Women may find high-testosterone men more appealing in countries where survival is tougher and the need for good genes more crucial, Moore said. In low-development countries, losing a mate to infection is less likely, so choosing a committed, non-aggressive partner may be more important than picking one based on health.