In the Workplace, Attractiveness May Benefit Men More Than Women

A new study by researchers at the Polish Academy of Sciences finds that while attractive women are more likely to obtain better jobs and earn more money than less attractive women, men who are deemed attractive actually benefit more from their good looks than women.

The researchers pulled information about the 11,583 participants from the United States National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The participants had their demographic information and socioeconomic data recorded at the age of 15. Researchers rated the participants’ physical attractiveness on a 4-point scale: Very attractive, attractive, unattractive, and very unattractive. Twenty years later, they checked on participants’ socioeconomic data to see how successful they had been.

“Across three measures of social mobility — education, occupation, and income— physically attractive males are more likely to be socially mobile than males of average attractiveness. The results show that there may be more to gain from attractiveness for males than for females and that, with each step on the attractiveness ladder (very attractive, attractive, unattractive, very attractive), males increase their advantage in income mobility,” the researchers wrote.

The full study, “Physical Attractiveness and Intergenerational Social Mobility,” was published on the website of Social Science Quarterly. It may be accessed here.

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