"Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours": Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 01/1995; 68(2):261-279. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.68.2.261

ABSTRACT The consistency of physical attractiveness ratings across cultural groups was examined. In Study 1, recently arrived native Asian and Hispanic students and White Americans rated the attractiveness of Asian, Hispanic, Black, and White photographed women. The mean correlation between groups in attractiveness ratings was
r = .93. Asians, Hispanics, and Whites were equally influenced by many facial features, but Asians were less influenced by some sexual maturity and expressive features. In Study 2, Taiwanese attractiveness ratings correlated with prior Asian, Hispanic, and American ratings, mean
r = .91. Supporting Study 1, the Taiwanese also were less positively influenced by certain sexual maturity and expressive features. Exposure to Western media did not influence attractiveness ratings in either study. In Study 3, Black and White American men rated the attractiveness of Black female facial photos and body types. Mean facial attractiveness ratings were highly correlated (
r = .94), but as predicted Blacks and Whites varied in judging bodies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous work showed high agreement in facial attractiveness preferences within and across cultures. The aims of the current study were twofold. First, we tested cross-cultural agreement in the attractiveness judgements of White Scottish and Black South African students for own- and other-ethnicity faces. Results showed significant agreement between White Scottish and Black South African observers' attractiveness judgements, providing further evidence of strong cross-cultural agreement in facial attractiveness preferences. Second, we tested whether cross-cultural agreement is influenced by the ethnicity and/or the gender of the target group. White Scottish and Black South African observers showed significantly higher agreement for Scottish than for African faces, presumably because both groups are familiar with White European facial features, but the Scottish group are less familiar with Black African facial features. Further work investigating this discordance in cross-cultural attractiveness preferences for African faces show that Black South African observers rely more heavily on colour cues when judging African female faces for attractiveness, while White Scottish observers rely more heavily on shape cues. Results also show higher cross-cultural agreement for female, compared to male faces, albeit not significantly higher. The findings shed new light on the factors that influence cross-cultural agreement in attractiveness preferences.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e99629. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Observing touch being applied to another human’s face enhances tactile perception for touch being applied to one’s own face. This effect, termed the Visual Remapping of Touch (VRT), is maximal the greater the physical or conceptual similarity between observer and observed. An interesting pos- sibility, however, is that even though the basic nature of the VRT is multisensory, a high cognitive level affinity from the observer toward the observed could modulate the VRT even in the face of decreased physical similarity. In the present study we manipulate the level of attractiveness of the avatars that participants observed being touched. By doing so, we either increased (attractive) or de- creased (unattractive) the interpersonal judgment value toward the avatar, while always decreasing the physical semblance between the avatar shown and the original image. Results revealed that both for an avatar depicting oneself or a stranger, the VRT is present when touch is applied to an attrac- tive, but not to an unattractive avatar. These findings suggest that basic multisensory effects, such as visuo-tactile interaction, are modulated by higher-level cognitive representations of the self and of others.
    Multisensory Research. 05/2014; 27:43-54.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The issue of cultural universality of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) attractiveness in women is currently under debate. We tested men's preferences for female WHR in traditional society of Tsimane'(Native Amazonians) of the Bolivian rainforest (N = 66). Previous studies showed preferences for high WHR in traditional populations, but they did not control for the women's body mass.We used a method of stimulus creation that enabled us to overcome this problem. We found that WHR lower than the average WHR in the population is preferred independent of cultural conditions. Our participants preferred the silhouettes of low WHR, but high body mass index (BMI), which might suggest that previous results could be an artifact related to employed stimuli. We found also that preferences for female BMI are changeable and depend on environmental conditions and probably acculturation (distance from the city). Interestingly, the Tsimane' men did not associate female WHR with age, health, physical strength or fertility. This suggests that men do not have to be aware of the benefits associated with certain body proportions - an issue that requires further investigation.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105468. · 3.53 Impact Factor


Available from
Dec 2, 2014