نقشه زیبایی لندن: اعتبار جذابیت فیزیکی زنان و مردان در بخش نیویورک لندن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|35774||2008||6 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4748 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 45, Issue 5, October 2008, Pages 361–366
In 1908, Francis Galton discussed anecdotal data he had collected for the compilation of a ‘beauty-map of the British Isles’. Based on his discussion, the present study attempted to compile a more empirical beauty-map of London. A community sample of 461 Londoners completed a questionnaire in which they rated the physical attractiveness of women and men in London’s 33 boroughs, as well as their familiarity with those boroughs. Results showed a significant interaction between borough and rated sex, with women being rated as more attractive across boroughs, and three boroughs in particular (the City of London, the City of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea) being rated high in physical attractiveness. Overall, ratings of attractiveness were significantly positively correlated with familiarity of boroughs, as well as objective measures of borough affluence (specifically, annual gross pay and average house prices) but not of borough health (life expectancy). These results are discussed in relation to the association between wealth and attractiveness, as well as Galton’s original beauty-map.
Sir Francis Galton was one of the great Victorian polymaths, producing over 300 papers and books throughout his life (Forrest, 1974). Although he is sometimes reviled as the ‘father of eugenics’ (see Brookes, 2004), Galton was also a pioneer in the fields of scientific meteorology, fingerprinting, psychometrics, differential psychology, and statistics. Among Galton’s lesser-known endeavours was his attempt to collect data for a ‘Beauty-Map’ of the British Isles. In his autobiography, Galton (1908) wrote: I may here speak of some attempts by myself, made hitherto in too desultory a way, to obtain materials for a ‘Beauty-Map’ of the British Isles. Whenever I have occasion to classify the persons I meet into three classes, ‘good, medium, and bad,’ I use a needle mounted as a pricker, wherewith to prick holes, unseen, in a piece of paper, torn rudely into a cross with a long leg. I use its upper end for ‘good,’ the cross-arm for ‘medium,’ the lower end for ‘bad.’ The prick-holes keep distinct, and are easily read off at leisure. The object, place, and date are written on the paper. I used this plan for my beauty data, classifying the girls I passed in streets or elsewhere as attractive, indifferent, or repellent. Of course this was a purely individual estimate, but it was consistent, judging from the conformity of different attempts in the same population. I found London to rank highest for beauty; Aberdeen lowest. While Galton’s Beauty-Map was based entirely on his personal observations of women, it is possible to construct contemporary maps of beauty that are more empirical in nature. This was the aim of the present study, although our map was more modest, focused on Galton’s epicentre of beauty: the boroughs of London. To our knowledge, no previous study has empirically examined perceptions of physical attractiveness as a function of geographical region (although there is a great deal of research on what constitutes culturally-defined beauty ideals; see Swami, 2007 and Swami and Furnham, 2008). Nevertheless, there are two relevant bodies of work that guided the formulation of our hypotheses. First, we predicted that there would be a correlation between perceptions of attractiveness and the socioeconomic status of boroughs. Although there remains a dearth of studies examining this association in detail, at least one recent study has reported a positive association between socioeconomic status and attractiveness (O’Reilly, Steele, Patterson, Milsom, & Harte, 2006). Specifically, this study of general practitioners showed that patients from higher socioeconomic backgrounds were assessed as more facially attractive than less affluent patients. Within the psychological literature, there has also been a discussion of the positive correlation between socioeconomic status and symbols of beauty, with the latter typically being defined in terms of body fat or skin tone (for a review, see Swami & Furnham, 2008). Various explanations may underlie this association, including the greater ability of affluent classes to shape beauty ideals (e.g., through their greater access to media resources), cultural associations of physical attractiveness with wealth, and the greater access of affluent individuals to resources that enhance physical beauty. O’Reilly et al. (2006) also suggest that affluent individuals may have more positive outlooks (e.g., as a result of suffering fewer stressors or being buffered against misfortune), and that this has an effect on how they are perceived in terms of their physical appearance. In short, then, we expected to find a significant positive correlation between ratings of physical attractiveness and objective measures of socioeconomic status in London’s boroughs. A second possibility is that ratings of physical attractiveness will be associated with the health of individuals in various geographical regions. Some evolutionary psychologists have suggested that perceptions of physical attractiveness are, in part, influenced by honest signals of health (Buss, 1987, Buss, 1994 and Symons, 1995). Thus, it might be expected that geographical regions that have lower incidences of disease or ill-health should also be perceived as having more physically attractive individuals. Of course, this prediction is predicated on the assumption that the attractiveness-health association is strong (but see Weeden & Sabini, 2005) and that lay individuals have accurate health information about various geographical regions. Nevertheless, as a preliminary hypothesis, we expected to find a positive correlation between the health status of London’s boroughs and perceptions of physical attractiveness. Of course, these predictions will only be borne out if perceptions of physical attractiveness do indeed vary as a function of geographical region. To begin with, therefore, we sought to compile a beauty-map of London and examined whether there was geographical variation in perceptions of physical attractiveness. Specifically, participants rated how physically attractive they believed women and men were in the various boroughs of London. These ratings were then correlated with socioeconomic and health indicators for the various boroughs to examine their associations as discussed above.