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The influence of skin tone, body weight, and hair colour on perceptions of women's attractiveness and health: a cross-cultural investigation

Swami, Viren and Rozmus-Wrzesinska, Malgorzata and Voracek, Martin and Haubner, Tanja and Danel, Dariusz and Pawlowski, Boguslaw and Stanistreet, Debbi and Chaplin, Fiona and Chaudhri, Jahanara and Sheth, Pinal and Shostak, Alla and Zhang, Echo Xian and Furnham, Adrian (2008) The influence of skin tone, body weight, and hair colour on perceptions of women's attractiveness and health: a cross-cultural investigation. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 6 (4). pp. 321-341. ISSN 1589-7397

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/JEP.6.2008.4.4

Abstract

This study investigated the role of skin tone, hair colour, and body weight in perceptions of women's physical attractiveness and health. Four-hundred and thirty-six women and 423 men in eight distinct national settings on three continents rated a series of 18 female line drawings that varied in three levels of skin tone, two levels of hair colour, and three levels of body weight. Results showed significant cross-cultural differences in what was considered attractive and healthy, as a function of the three manipulated physical characteristics. However, the role played by, and the importance of, the three characteristics appeared to differ relative to the type of rating being made. Specifically, ratings of health were not congruent with ratings of physical attractiveness. There were also a number of interactions between the different variables, which were most pronounced with participants' nationality. Interactions between the different stimulus variables themselves were small, but nevertheless suggest combined effects. These results support recent arguments for contextualising interpersonal perceptions, rather than viewing them in isolation of sociocultural environments.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:6771
Deposited On:06 May 2009 10:30
Last Modified:06 May 2009 10:30

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