The effects of physical attractiveness have been thoroughly examined by social researchers; their overall conclusion is that the perceptions and evaluations others have of physically attractive individuals are more positive than those of physically unattractive individuals. However, researchers have produced evidence which suggest that the perceptions others have of physically attractive males may be different from those of attractive females . Also, prior research on the effects of physical attractiveness illustrates that under certain conditions the generality of the "what is beautiful is good" attractiveness stereotype may lessen. Therefore, the present study has tested the conditions under which the "what is beautiful is good" stereotype is supported and unsupported by the perceptions and evaluations of observers. Questionnaires, which measured respondents' attitudes toward gender roles and perceptions of attractive and unattractive persons of the opposite-sex, were distributed to 100 students from the College of Wooster and the Ohio Agriculture & Technical Institute. Primary results showed that attractive individuals were perceived and evaluated more positively by respondents than unattractive individuals. Gender role attitudes were found to influence the perceptions of female respondents, but not male respondents. Future research concerning the relationship between gender and attractiveness stereotyping is recommended. Also, further study should be conducted to ascertain to what extent race influences judgments and perceptions of physically attractive and unattractive individuals.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1994 Stephen E. Ifeduba