Red-faced men like Sir Alex Ferguson score more highly with women, a new Scottish study claims.
Women want to partner “brighter, more coloured” men as they see them as dominant alpha males, researchers say.
Other examples of ruddy-faced celebrities women find attractive are actor Brad Pitt, tycoon Sir Richard Branson and former US president Bill Clinton.
Women were asked to rate men’s attractiveness from pictures and were allowed to alter their facial colour.
The experiment was carried out at the “Perception Lab” at St Andrews University. Professor David Perrett, who heads research into face perception, said women deemed red-faced men most desirable.
He said: “We have shown increased redness enhances the appearance of dominance, aggression and attractiveness in men’s faces viewed by women. This is something we share with many other species.
“For example, the bright yellow beaks of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is. But this is the first [time] this has been demonstrated in humans.”
The research was published in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.