Article creator image

BY Fairygodboss

We All Know Looks Matter: But Apparently Less for Men

Girls at School

Photo credit: Shutterstock via Vox Media

TAGS: Gender equality, Discrimination, Women in the workplace

We recently read a Vox Media report that surprised us. The headline "The Economics of Prettiness: More Attractive Women Get Better Grades" wasn't the part that was new. After all, we figured most people understand that physical beauty is something that helps those who possess it. The advantage begins early and probably lasts a lifetime, throughout one's educational and professional career.

However, we were surprised by what was buried in the piece itself about the underlying research. It turns out that men are not rewarded -- nor penalized -- for being physically attractive. 

The study looked at attractive women (as voted by peer students who didn't know them a la "Are You Hot or Not?") taking in-person courses and compared their academic performance in those classes to their performance in online classes where their teachers and graders had no idea what they looked like.

Can you guess where they got better grades?  Apparently even after controlling for the difficulty of their exams via test score adjustments, the attractive women did worse than expected in their online courses.

This may be nothing new, but it apparently this difference in performance did not apply to men who are rated attractive by their peers. Perhaps that is simply because most of the professors and graders in the study were heterosexual men? We assume so, but the research doesn't say...


Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

 

Related Community Discussions

  • What to do if you face a step down in your career due to the break you took of 6 months to take care of your newborn? Does this happen frequently? Any ideas on how to get a job after this break? Please help! I was working as a Sales Manager in a company where I had to quit as I needed to give sometime to my baby. Now when I'm trying to start working again, I don't get even considered due to the break I took. The HR in these companies advice me to step down in the position and start from senior sales associate or reception. I do have good experience being good at my job and my previous employer have everything good to say about me. What should I do?

  • I think I'm being mommy-tracked at work and it's incredibly frustrating. I'm two months back from maternity leave and putting in the same hours as I used to but I'm getting these subtle signs that I'm not taken as seriously -- ranging from not being asked about wanting to spearhead things to the stink eye when I walk out the door (at the same time I roughly used to leave the office). What should I do?

  • I am currently on FMLA and was set to return to work in 4 days, but was laid off today. The reason is "position elimination". What are my rights?

  • I am trying to get back to work after being a caregiver for parent with Alzheimer's. Am dealing with horrible age bias/discrimination. Need help from exec-level professionals.

  • Hi everyone, I was on fmla over the summer (12 weeks). We have just received our annual merit increases and I was told my increase was pro-rated due to being out on FMLA. Our merit score is based on our annual performance reivew and meeting a list of goals that are determined at the first of the year. Prior to going out on leave, I had met all of my goals and received a positive review when I returned. I do not feel like I should be penalized for being out on FMLA. Does anyone know the laws associated with this or have any experience with this? Thanks so much!

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously

We All Know Looks Matter: But Apparently Less for Men

We All Know Looks Matter: But Apparently Less for Men

We recently read a Vox Media report that surprised us. The headline " The Economics of Prettiness: More Attractive Women Get Better Grades " wasn't the par...

We recently read a Vox Media report that surprised us. The headline "The Economics of Prettiness: More Attractive Women Get Better Grades" wasn't the part that was new. After all, we figured most people understand that physical beauty is something that helps those who possess it. The advantage begins early and probably lasts a lifetime, throughout one's educational and professional career.

However, we were surprised by what was buried in the piece itself about the underlying research. It turns out that men are not rewarded -- nor penalized -- for being physically attractive. 

The study looked at attractive women (as voted by peer students who didn't know them a la "Are You Hot or Not?") taking in-person courses and compared their academic performance in those classes to their performance in online classes where their teachers and graders had no idea what they looked like.

Can you guess where they got better grades?  Apparently even after controlling for the difficulty of their exams via test score adjustments, the attractive women did worse than expected in their online courses.

This may be nothing new, but it apparently this difference in performance did not apply to men who are rated attractive by their peers. Perhaps that is simply because most of the professors and graders in the study were heterosexual men? We assume so, but the research doesn't say...


Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

 

thumbnail 1 summary