Saturday, August 07, 2010

" Unattractive men, meanwhile, earned 15 percent less than their attractive coworkers ....Unattractive women earned 11 percent less."

This is kind of interesting:

“Attractive men and women are often seen as more talented, kind, and intelligent and that can lead to promotions and raises,” says Gordon Patzer, author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined Unattractive men, meanwhile, earned 15 percent less than their attractive coworkers in a London Guildhall University survey of 33-year-olds. Unattractive women earned 11 percent less.

I thought looks mattered more in women. Apparently, not at work.


Blogger By The Sword said...

How do you explain politicians then? Most of them are ugly as sin.

12:42 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Marsh said...

"How do you explain politicians then? Most of them are ugly as sin."

There's always an exception to the rule.

2:42 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I feel like a real loser now. I'm extremely handsome with a body to die for but don't make all that much money. Oh, well. ;)

2:54 PM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and tall men do better than short me...tall women, better than short women...what then of a tall guy who is ugly? or a short guy who is handsome?

4:59 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger David Foster said...

It's possible that some of this is better looks leading to more self-confidence and that self-confidence addition to the direct effect of the what's leading to more career success and $$. And earlier research which I believe you cited indicated self-confidence was more important for men that for women in simulated hiring decisions.

8:59 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Thanks, fred, I feel even worse now as I am 6' 3" tall. Not my day to give up sniffing glue.

9:12 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Marsh - I think you meant "They're always an exception to the rule."

9:14 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Trust said...

Interesting to consider other studies where women were given pictures of the same man in different settings, and she rated him as better looking when he had a nicer car or better job. So i think part of the difference is higher status men start off with bonus points to begin with.

12:35 AM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Ron Coleman said...

I guess this makes me feel better about being broke, huh.

Wait, no...

1:20 AM, August 08, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read more than once that many, if not most women, who voted for Clinton did so more because he was a "hottie", than for any other reason.

McCain isn't, and Palin is. Two strikes against the republicans in the women voter camp.

The form of prejudice connected to one's looks has always been and will always be around. Thankfully, I still have my rugged good looks, boyish charm, and naturally curly hair.

7:59 AM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Dr. Gordon Patzer said...

Politicians and Looks.

Politicians, at least those elected, are more physically attractive by far than the general population, at least statistically and objectively.

In fact, focusing for a moment on US presidents, historically, overwhelmingly, among the final major contenders, the more physically attractive (as traditionally or stereotypically defined) receive the most votes in presidential general elections. This dynamic has shown itself repeatedly in political contests that range from small-time local political campaigns to big-time national primaries and general elections. Likely most notable in history in this regard is the much heralded “good looks” of John F. Kennedy versus his counterpart, Richard M. Nixon.

As much as people deny it because, I guess, their embarrassment to admit that “looks count,” looks do matter when counting votes. And, if the past US presidential election, John McCain had won against Barrack Obama, in the context of traditional stereotypical physical attractiveness considerations it would be an exception to the rule equivalent to a one-hundred year flood…and we all know that rare events do occur, rarely. For example, McCain stands at the national average adult male height of 5’9” while Obama stands 4-1/2 inches taller at 6’1-1/2”, one has a full head of hair albeit styled neither long nor voluminous versus the other with a thinning mane tending toward a classic comb-over style, and one has the look of age and health characteristic of a long-lived life while the other displays a youthful and healthy appearance characteristic of his age or younger.

Dr. Gordon Patzer
author of "Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined"

10:22 AM, August 08, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And regardless of what is said, it helps to be a bad boy. Women spend their lives trying to change a man. When, or if, they succeed, they become bored.

Men do too, but for entirely different reasons.

10:43 AM, August 08, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:53 AM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

"How do you explain politicians then? Most of them are ugly as sin."

Washington, DC - Hollywood for ugly people.

2:14 PM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

Several responses; I posit that what's going on with this wage spread is two statistical rules of thumb.

-The first is that while real women may have curves, women's statistical curves are tighter than men's. More men than women make boatloads of money, succeed in math and science, wind up in prison and with debilitating mental disorders. There's no reason to think this tight-sigma phenomenon wouldn't have an impact when salary and attractiveness are cross-checked.

-The other is the 80-20 rule. Put simply, 80 percent of women are attracted to 20 percent of the men, or more bluntly, 20 percent of the guys are getting 80 percent of the action.

An attractive man has market value above an average man (VORP if you're into fantasy baseball) that is MUCH higher than an attractive woman's value over an average woman's value.

-Something else: it's often purported that women control most of the consumer spending in this country (putting aside the fact they are spending a lot of their husband's money).

If that's the case, it makes sense that attractive men are more valuable to a company than unattractive men relative to the corresponding female pair when it comes to bringing in revenue, because they are playing into the sex-sells psychology of a larger-spending demographic. (This theory has a flaw - attractive women are still used to sell to women things like Victoria's Secret, although VS also sells to cross-dressers and men who are trying to gift to get laid.)

-One non-statistical thought: maybe number two tries even harder if number two is a woman, increasing her performance relative to a comparably number-two man and closing the gap. Perhaps they feel more driven to try to catch up to the top. Once you get beyond the right tail of competitive "alpha men" (obviously rated attractive), you find a lot of guys who are willing to accept their "lot" in life and not push for anything more.

2:37 PM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Der Hahn said...

As a take off on Topher's wide-sigma comment, don't ignore the fact that there are places where an ugly man can earn boatloads of cash doing dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs. Similar work for women isn't generally available and you're more likely to see men in high-paying 'pink collar' jobs (Think ICU or ER nursing, for example). The hottie from Ice Road Truckers is certainly the exception but even she is probably earning at the bottom of the scale, and I've not seen a female equivalent to Mike Rowe yet.

10:27 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

What is the definition of unattractive? One can't do much about their height, but one do much about their crooked teeth, weight, skin and even facial features if they are willing to spend enough money, time and effort. Sure there are a few people, very few, that can't do much about their looks, but most of us can seek out some help and turn ourselves into not unattractive people.

11:07 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger JBL said...

Hi Helen, the first part of this response is not actually related to your post, but I didn't know how else to contact you directly. I want to point out something I read recently in Suze Orman's column in "O" (Oprah) magazine. In the column, Orman gives financial advice to a married woman, stating that this woman needs to commandeer the income, open a new checking account in her name only, and start managing the family finances without her husband's input, since the husband was portrayed as this financial goob who would rather divorce his wife than part with his beloved sports memorabilia collection to pay the taxes and debts. This caught my eye, because if the genders were reversed -- if it were the husband commandeering all of the income and not allowing the wife to keep some precious little tidbit -- this would be considered "financial abuse", and this wife would be a "victim" of DV, which would give her all kinds of advantage in family court for the subsequent divorce.

This may be something you want to read up on and comment, as you are far more articulate on these matters than I am.

As to the topic at hand: I was told on many occasions that I was "too pretty" -- to be a Math major, to be an Engineer, to be a PhD -- and I found that many times, because I am tall, blond, thin... that in order to have any credibility in the workplace, I had to flaunt my educational and experience credentials. Otherwise, nobody took me seriously. Pretty women may earn 11% more money than their unattractive counterparts, but I assure you, we do not earn 11% more respect without a fight.

6:28 PM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger fivewheels said...

Why did you think that looks counted more for women? Because they complain about that (and everything else) more.

It's like the studies that conclude that women do all the work at home, based on who complains about it more. Guy mows the lawn, cleans the gutters and changes the oil in both their cars one afternoon while, inside, his wife washes a glass he left on the counter because he was going to use it again later. When the survey comes, she reports this as her working tirelessly in the home while he relaxes outside.

10:12 AM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a study that would be interesting:

Determine the average amount that a person gets in terms of money and/or in-kind benefits on top of what they earn at a job, ranked for good-looking women, not-good-looking women, good-looking men and not-good looking men.

My guess:

Good-looking women get far, far more than they earn themselves (for instance by marrying wealthier men), other women are next, and then way, way down on the list comes good-looking men (at a negative number on average) and then regular men (vastly negative, because they are paying for all the leeches in society).

10:42 AM, August 11, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

Cham makes a really good point: not everyone is made out for a magazine cover, but it's not hard to maximize your God-given attractiveness by being in shape, well-groomed, decently dressed and being on top of your social graces. This is not expensive and it has many social benefits. For those who want to be non-conformist and not live by others' standards, think back to the earlier thread about courage and how playing the martyr is dumb.

11:42 AM, August 11, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

On the cost of wardrobe: I see far, far more men wearing clothes that are the wrong size than I see guys who need to upgrade the quality of their threads. In other words, it won't cost them a dime more to get the right fit and they will look a lot better.

11:43 AM, August 11, 2010  

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