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Unattractive kids less liked by parents, study shows

  1. May 3, 2005 #1
    EurekAlert Story

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  3. May 3, 2005 #2


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    Doesn't surprise me. I'd be gutted if I had an ugly kid.
  4. May 3, 2005 #3
    WoW! I cant believe that they say this in a very-confident way as if it is facts! LOL

    Some somments:
    -What is attractive?
    [X hair Y eyes Z face W hieght/wight ...etc varies from a person to another, despite some 'unity' in some directions in how human look at this (very almost all humans found male-female humans more attractive than male-female goats :bugeye: ) ]

    -Richer people or the more educated care usualy more about thier appearance-hygiene and thus they have more boost in physical attractiveness features.

    -LOL? As far as my modest knowldge, i guess attractivenss depends as well on personality , similarities between mates, and physical characteristics in both males and females. This research considered only physical characteristics for the study, which make it at least inaccurate..

    Thats my 3 cents
  5. May 3, 2005 #4
  6. May 3, 2005 #5

    Chi Meson

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    I agree with Moses. THis sounds like the most arbitrary, subjective study. The way a kid is dressed will affect how "attractive" he looks. A dirty and disheveled child will always appear more unattractive than a clean "attractively-dressed" child. The latter child will probably also have a more attentive parent.

    Seems more study is needed, I don't buy it yet.
  7. May 3, 2005 #6


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    For the most part, it is not subjective. If it was... then everyone could be a supermodel. The article is obviously about "physical attractiveness".
  8. May 3, 2005 #7
    I agree. Again, I don't know that how good the methodology was, I haven't read the actual study. But I remember the story that came out of Boulder Colorado, the Jon Benet Ramsey story. I think that particular story had legs because of the attractiveness of the victim.
  9. May 3, 2005 #8


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    One doesn't need to subscribe to an absolute notion of beauty to find differing rates of opinion on a particular person's looks. There are known correlations between various quantitative measures of beauty (relative proportions and symmetries on the face, for example) and polls of the general public.
  10. May 3, 2005 #9
    Actually we both dont disagree here! That was my point when i said that we humans have some-how [main criteria] for attractivenes , thats why not for example we got attracted to animals for example, since we only think about humans.

    However, even among humans there is a BIG difference in preference despite the iamn stream. What i found 10's my friends found 7's ! And the opposite some times happend and we laugh at each other as why this happened!

    Even i am a male, i cant say this women is attractive without talking to her. But i do admit that i can say she is really good looking.

    I hope i made my point more clear :smile:
  11. May 3, 2005 #10

    Here is a page making fun of how wrong the idea between the correlation between symmetry and attractiveness. Which MANY psychologist [including my teacher at a course] consider a prime factor.

    [even my book has a sentence which insistthat the most key factor in attractivenss is face-symmetry!] :bugeye:

    want to say sth that could be related somehow: Britney spears in my scale is not 10 in physical attractivenss [still decently high]. Even i am sure its 10+ for many people. On the other hand, some celebrities/girls in the streets i find 10 in physical attractivenes, while they might not pass even 8 lets say by other ppl scale [regardless how the scale works, 2 points out of 10 is 'significant' difference that cannot be negleted :wink: ]

    Edit: For those who did not go to the link, i mentioned Britney spears since it the firts face appeard at the page to 'test' symmetry and its relation to attractiveness...
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  12. May 3, 2005 #11


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    Despite what many political commentators would like to think, mockery doesn't really constitute an argument. The correlations aren't with any symmetry, just very specific ones.

    You're missing the point. The poll results are statistical, they don't mean that everybody must find specific people attractive.
  13. May 3, 2005 #12
    lol, or may be my opint missed across in its way :smile:
    I do agree abuot hte poll issue you said. My point is [which i guess you would agree] there is a significant difference that cannot be negleted in deciding which is attractive to people.

    People saying: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder or (beer)holder has some truth in it :rofl:
  14. May 3, 2005 #13


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    But that isn't in opposition to the claims of psychologists. Any such arguments would have to be statistical, they're just trying to explain why and what this means for other aspects of life.
  15. May 3, 2005 #14
    I see, but thier exaplnation abuot this correlation could be seen as somehow[exaggerated] if its not wrong.

    back to the main study. There is a crucial mistake i see the the people who run the tudy fall into; The got the results without isolatin the subject from other independent variables.

    For example: They shuold make sure that the only [almost only] variable dffer between kids is how physically attractive they are, and then measure the independant variable of how they parent caer level is [e.g. parents have similar backgrounds, level of education, income, culture...etc]

    So many variables were not in conrtol here, so i am not sure if the study has a decent level of accuracy to take its results with considerable seruiosness.

    I might be wrong :bugeye:
  16. May 3, 2005 #15
    Not squarely on topic, but: I used to live next to a young mother who was an ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, who had an 8 year old son. She pinned my ears back one day by commenting on how ugly her poor son was, right in front of him, and lamenting that, when grown, he'd probably never find a wife.
    I couldn't see anything about the kid to merit this assessment.

    Last year the explanation for her comment was revealed to me in a TV program on Chinese Culture: it is believed to be extremely bad luck to ever refer to any child as attractive because this may be overheard by an unattractive god who will become envious and cause trouble. All Chinese children, therefore, are regarded as unattractive, especially the attractive ones.
  17. May 3, 2005 #16


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    Okay, I really have to agree with Moses that attractiveness is very subjective. Unless the study defined certain objective criteria, such as facial symmetry, as SpaceTiger suggested, or whether their hair was combed or disheveled, I don't know how you can rate the kids as attractive or unattractive.

    And don't all parents think their own kid is the cutest? So, what the researcher thinks is unattractive, the parent may not. That researcher may even subconsciously be ranking the more unruly children as less cute simply because of their behavior. I know I find a misbehaving child who is allowed to climb store shelves and screaming for things to be rather irritating, so would have a hard time describing them as "cute as a button" like I might the kid dressed in a neat little outfit and sitting quietly smiling at everybody.

    Also, unless these parents were handed random children to watch over or had adopted children, couldn't you interpret it that ugly parents are bad parents? Afterall, genetics tells us that kids tend to resemble their parents.

    Or, heck, maybe the causality is backward and those less attractive kids are less attractive because their parents don't pay much attention, so they've gotten banged up and fallen over on their faces a few more times than the kids with attentive parents?

    I think a more important study might involve how attentive other caretakers might be to kids who are deemed more or less attractive by them. Does the teacher give the cutest kid in the class more attention than the scruffy looking one? Or do the daycare workers spend more play time with the kids they think are cutest?
  18. May 3, 2005 #17


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    The study is worthless, everyone in Edmonton is ugly.


    *Flames Fan*
  19. May 3, 2005 #18
    An interesting issue i came across while reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X book:

    Malcolm X thought that his father favoured him more than his othyer brothers nad sisters since he was having 'red' hair, and he was the lighest one. [at that time, we all know how horrible racism on color was going on 'and still?' and that affect people judgin on color]

    However, on the other hand, Malcolm X thouhgt his mother was treating him the WORST amon his brothers and sisters, for the same exact reason! That he is the lighests colored, and she had bad experince of white popel rapin her mom which is why his african-american mother is very light skinned.

    The point i am trying to say that for the same features, people can percive it differently, and thus react differntly. What attract some one [regardless why] amy repel another [regardles if it is justified or not]
  20. May 3, 2005 #19
    Really? You think that if everybody on this thread saw 20 pictures of kids and were ask to rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, our ratings would be that different. Check out Hot or Not and see how often your scores vs. the average are off by more than 1.5.

    ABC's John Stossel had a whole show, which looked at the research of attractiveness. There were four or five segments, which showed how kids and teenagers, where more inclined to give positive qualities (like intelligence, kindness, honesty) to attractive people than unattractive. Employers were more likely to hire and give better salaries to attractive job applicants. Amazingly not only were men more likely to hire good looking woman, and woman employers, good looking men, but they were even more likely to hire attractive people of the same sex. I do not remember the details but I am pretty sure one of the segments was about teachers who gave more attention, and were more lenient to attractive kids.
  21. May 3, 2005 #20


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    The main point of my posts was to argue that we can measure "attractiveness" in useful, quantitative ways. I wasn't trying to defend this particular study. But let me look at it in more detail anyway.

    That depends on what you're trying to show. If you're trying to show correlation, then such things are irrelevant; that is, you can just measure the two quantities and plot them. If you're trying to show causation, however, that's an entirely different ballgame. I'm not even sure they've done the former, as their means of measuring attractiveness sound fishy. It sounds like they had the researchers rate the attractiveness of the kids. Aside from giving very small number statistics, this has the inherent bias that the researchers had already observed the behavior before making their rating.

    Even if they did it correctly, they're trying to measure various functions of multiple causal variables. Now, these functions (e.g. seat-belt buckling, wandering distance, etc.) may include attractiveness as one of the directly causal variables, but we don't know for sure. There will be many other things that also correlate with attractiveness that could really be the root cause of the trend. For example, attractive children might get more attention from other people, making them more sociable and forceful, making the parents pay more attention to them, making the parents more likely to do the above things. It's a bit of a stretch, but certainly possible. Another possibility is one you mentioned, the correlation between attractiveness and wealth, but that only makes sense if their statistics are done globally. If they compare numbers within a given family, that sort of thing can be factored out.

    Thus, even if we trust their measurements of attractiveness, I'm hesitant to say that parents pay less attention to the less attractive kids because they're less attractive. I would say it's the most likely explanation, however. If anybody knows where I can find the original article on this, I'd be curious to see it.
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