Physical attractiveness and its relationship to sex-role stereotyping

Daniel Bar-Tal, Leonard Saxe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the basis of recent findings showing that physical attractiveness serves as an important evaluative cue in person perception, the present paper reviews evidence which indicates that physical attractiveness differentially affects the judgments of males and females. Recent research seems to indicate that the physical-attractiveness stereotype - which holds that attractive individuals are more positively evaluated across a wide range of dimensions than unattractive individuals - is more potent when applied to women than to men. The origins of this differential stereotyping are discussed in terms of the historically defined roles of men and women in our society. In addition, the paper discusses the implications of the physical-attractiveness stereotype for the general problem of sex-role stereotyping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1976


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