Author: Joan Robinson
Published: 27th May 2015 - Updated: 9th Feb 2016
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Love and Romance Publications
Summary: A female view of a man is influenced by how handsome and law-abiding he is..
Women tolerate an unattractive man up to a point, but beware if he misbehaves. Then they'll easily shun him. So says Jeremy Gibson and Jonathan Gore of the Eastern Kentucky University in the U.S., after finding that a woman's view of a man is influenced by how handsome and law-abiding he is. Their study in Springer's journal Gender Issues has significance for those using dating sites or doing jury duty.
Discovering how someone can make a positive first impression is an important field of study, because of its role in forming relationships. It is often based on physical appearance and whether someone sticks to social norms or not. Such impressions are made in a flash, but are not always correct. In what is called the 'halo effect,' people warm up to others with positive characteristics, such as handsomeness. The 'devil effect' or 'negative halo effect' comes into play when people assume that others possess so-called 'bad' characteristics, such as unattractiveness.
Gibson and Gore tested if and how levels of attractiveness and conforming to social norms combine to influence 170 college women's perceptions of men. Two male faces -- one attractive, the other not -- bearing similar features were paired in two written scenarios. In the one, the man committed a major social no-no, in the other not.
The researchers found that whether a man transgressed a social norm was a much greater put-off than whether he was unattractive. Normally women do not feel differently towards a homely man who toes the line. If that same ugly duckling, however, transgresses the boundaries of right or wrong, a magnified or 'double' devil effect comes into play. He is then viewed in an extremely negative light, much more so than would have been the case if he were handsome.
'The unattractive male is tolerated up to a point; his unattractiveness is OK until he misbehaves,' says Gibson.
The halo and devil effect often comes into play when people view others' profiles on online dating sites. Based on their results, Gibson and Gore believe that unattractive men who provide unusual or alarming information in their profiles may not receive a second glance from women. This will not be the case for an Adonis posting the same information, or unattractive ones who do not violate these norms.
In the judicial system, unattractive defendants are also known to receive more severe penalties than more attractive ones, even if they committed the same crime.
'A man who stands trial has already shown himself to have violated social norms in one way or another. If he is also unattractive, the magnified devil effect may result in a larger fine or sentence, as it could influence how negatively jurors view him and, as a result, the degree to which they believe him guilty of the crime,' explains Gore.
Reference: Gibson, J.L. & Gore, J. (2015). You're OK until you misbehave: how norm violations magnify the attractiveness devil effect, Gender Issues. DOI 10.1007/s12147-015-9142-5
|Latest Love and Romance Publications|
The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to Love and Romance that includes:
|I'm a Bisexual Drag Artist Who is About to be a Biological Dad|
As an openly bi person, having a child of my own was always a dream. For me to think of it was a rollercoaster of emotions.
Publish Date: 28th Apr 2023
|Is Spontaneous Sex Better Than Planned Sex?|
While many people endorse spontaneous sex, there was no difference in their reported satisfaction with their last actual sexual encounter - whether planned or unplanned.
Publish Date: 15th Feb 2023
|How to Show Your Children Love|
Relationships built on love, care, and mutual respect are essential for children to grow up feeling safe, healthy, and resilient.
Publish Date: 11th Feb 2023
|How to Reduce Temptation to Cheat on a Partner|
People often cheat not because they planned it but because the opportunity presented itself, and they were too depleted, tired, drunk, or distracted to fight temptation.
Publish Date: 31st Jan 2023
1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.
2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.
3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.
4Glossary of Gender Terms
Definitions of gender related terms.
5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?
• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.
• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.
• (APA): Joan Robinson. (2015, May 27). Women Tolerate an Unattractive Man - Up to a Point. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved December 7, 2023 from www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/love/463.php
• Permalink: <a href="https://www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/love/463.php">Women Tolerate an Unattractive Man - Up to a Point</a>