ERIC Number: ED139531
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Peer Relations as a Function of Physical Attractiveness: The Eye of the Beholder or Behavioral Reality?
Langlois, Judith H.; Downs, A. Chris
This study examines the relationship between physical attractiveness and behavior by assessing whether behavioral differences exist between children judged by adults to be physically attractive and unattractive. Sixty-four 3- and 5-year-old boys and girls were selected as subjects on the basis of physical attractiveness. Three types of same-age and sex dyads were formed on the basis of physical attractiveness (attractive, unattractive, and mixed-attractiveness) and were observed in a semi-naturalistic play setting. A categorical observational system was used to record positive social behaviors, aggressive behaviors, activity and object-directed behaviors, and sex-stereotyped behaviors. Few differences were found between attractive and unattractive children in the categories indexing positive social behaviors. A developmental trend was found for aggression: no differences based on attractiveness were found for 3-year-olds, but 5-year-old unattractive children hit peers more often than attractive children. Finally, unattractive children were generally more active and preferred to play with masculine toys while attractive children were less active and played with feminine toys. (Author/MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Portions of this paper were presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 17-20, 1977)