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Attractive appearance – who benefits more: women or men? Tests

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People perceived as more physically attractive have a greater chance of achieving professional success and social advancement. Researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences proved this by analyzing data collected from over eleven thousand women and men over twenty years. They also checked which gender benefits from an attractive appearance more: women or men.

The authors of the study, Grzegorz Bulczak and Alexi Gugushvili from the Polish Academy of Sciences, decided to check whether attractive appearance has an impact on social advancement. However, because they concluded that, at least theoretically, the reverse relationship is also possible, i.e. that a higher socio-economic position translates into better appearance – because we can afford better clothes, a gym or plastic surgery – they included the assessment of appearance only at the age of 15. The study used data from the US national survey of health and youth, “Add Health”.

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About 20,000 people took part in the “Add Health” study. people. Over the next 20 years, some people dropped out of the study, so the researchers eventually used a sample of 11,583 people. The data included information on health, place of residence, education, professional achievements and earnings, as well as assessment of physical attractiveness. It was assessed on a five-point scale by the doctor conducting the examination and the interviewers.

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Who benefits more from an attractive appearance: women or men

After 20 years of collection, data on the participants’ appearance was compared with data on their educational and professional achievements. They found that adolescents’ physical attractiveness was clearly reflected in their status later in life. People who were considered more attractive at age 15 were more likely to outpace their parents in terms of earnings and achievements by age 30. This was much more pronounced for men than women, especially when it came to education.

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The finding that people perceived as more attractive experienced a greater increase in status compared to their parents than those who were less attractive was not surprising to the researchers. “People rated as attractive are more likely to improve their status than people rated as average,” reads the study report published in the journal Social Science Quarterly. Something else was surprising: after introducing the gender division, Bulczak and Gugushvili found that this effect affected men to a greater extent than women. In addition, with each step up the “attractiveness ladder”, men increased this advantage.

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Main photo source: Shutterstock

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