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What’s Attractive??

Hypothesis
Both men and women will think that physical features are the most important feature that makes an individual attractive and are more likely to date and talk to people based on their “physical beauty”.


Theory
Men and women will see physical beauty as the most important feature due to the fact that society puts a huge emphasis on physical appearance. The human body is used in magazines to advertise all types of products(soap, cars, cigarettes, clothes, etc.)and portrayed to be tall, thin, and toned to be “attractive”(in such objects as models, Barbie dolls, etc.). Men and women do not realize that attractive can mean charming or alluring in other manners beside physical. It is the fact that we are taught that attractive means pretty or gorgeous at a very young age and not that you can be attractive if you have a sense of humor, intelligent, or have a great personality.
Surveying the group activity
I surveyed 175 men and women ( 87 males and 87 females) on what was attractive to them.


Social Institution and Group
The most closely related social institutions are family and education.

Family depends on how you were brought up, the environment you were raised in, and the morals and beliefs instilled in you. Education depends on what morals and beliefs have been studied, and the experiences you have had and learned from. I surveyed college students that are individuals and they are primary groups.


Observations
The issue of what is attractive to an individual is both a norm and deviant act, because some individuals are attracted to superficial features which according to society is a deviant act, (although it is a main contributor to this belief) and other individuals are attracted to a whole package (physical beauty, intelligence, religious beliefs, social abilities,etc.) which according to society is healthy and should be a norm.


Surveyed Men and Women
I asked young men and women in my classes and my sorority sisters to take my survey. I have 175 surveys (87 males and 87 females) on different questions about what is attractive. Here are the results:
What part of the body is most attractive to you?
FEMALEMALE
Eyes 32%Chest 28%
Chest 14% Butt 26%
Face 14%Eyes 14%
Stomach 6%Face 10%
Legs 6%Legs 10%
Smile 6%Stomach 6%
Build 5%Hair 2%
Arms 3%Other 4%
Other 14%
Most Important When Looking for a DATE
FEMALEMALE
Physical appearance 30%Physical appearance 42%
Intelligence27% Intelligence 15%
Religious beliefs 1%Religious Beliefs 4%
Combination 37% Combination 34%
Personality 4% Personality 5%
Sense of Humor 1%
First Thing You Notice When You Meet a New Person
FEMALEMALE
Eyes 28%Eyes 26%
Teeth 14% Teeth 3%
Entire appearance 14%Entire appearance 32%
Face 7%Face 13%
Smile 17% Smile 7%
Personality 13%Personality 6%
Other 7%Hair 5%
Other 8%
What is Most Attractive When Looking for your “IDEAL PERSON”?
FEMALEMALE
Personality 46%Personality 30%
Appearance 12%Appearance 36%
Ambition 14% Intelligence 9%
Morals 6% Attitude 5%
Intelligence 14%Kindness 5%
Other 8%Other 15%
Are You More Likely to Walk Up to Someone You Do Not Know If They Are:
FEMALE MALE
Physically attractive 44% Physically attractive 55%
Dressed well 44% Dressed well 36%
physically unattractive 6%Physically unattractive 5%
Dressed sloppy 6%Dressed sloppy 4%
Here are some comments about their dream girl/guy that I got on my survey. Good looking, smart with a well paying job, funny, outgoing, confident, well mannered, not lazy. He is six foot, dark hair, and has a great body. Bright, money, good-looking. six-two lean and great personality. Cindy Crawford. Perfect attitude, perfect body, and eyes just like Niki Taylor. Fine, can cook, clean, work , and a great person! Smart, patient, loveable, and understanding. Sexy, good personality, and easy to get along with.


Were there smaller groups in larger groups?
I couldn’t write about this because I did a survey.


Biggest Influence
The greatest influence on the type of interaction by people that I observed would be morals and beliefs taught by one’s family. The views of individuals on their “ideal person” and people that they would talk to and date are obviously reflections of whether they have learned that attractiveness is not necessarily physical. If a person is brought up to judge and love only the superficial features, then they would view what is attractive differently then others who were taught to love the features inside and on the outside of a person.
Conclusions
My hypothesis: Both men and women will think physical features are the most important feature that makes an individual attractive and are more likely to date and talk to people based on their ” physical beauty”, was proven right in some areas and wrong in others.
In my survey, it was apparent that most males look for physical appearance when looking for a date (42% of the time), while females prefer a combination of physical appearance, intelligence, and religious beliefs (37%). This proved my hypothesis right about the male portion, but wrong towards the female portion. And when looking for that “ideal person” , the biggest percentage of men are attracted to appearance (36%), while females are attracted to personality (46%).This also proved my hypothesis right for the male side, but wrong for the female side. When asked to walk up to someone you do not know the majority of men said they would walk up to someone who is physically attractive (55%), and the largest percentage of women also would walk up to someone who is physically attractive (44%) or to someone who is well dressed (44%). This question proved my hypothesis right on both sides regarding the man and woman. The results of the question what do you notice when you meet a new person was that out of females 28% noticed eyes, 14% teeth, 14% entire appearance, 7% face, 17% smile, and 13% personality. And out of the males, 26% noticed eyes, 3% teeth, 32% entire appearance, 13% face, 7% smile, and 6% personality. This showed that the majority of individuals in both the male and female categories notice physical features rather than other features,such as personality, mood, confidence, etc.,most of the time.And in the question what is your favorite part of the body the results show that females prefer eyes 32% of the time, chest 14%, face 14%, Stomach 6%, legs 6%, smile 6%, and build 5%, while males prefer chest 28%, butt 26%, eyes 14%, face 10%, legs 10%, and stomach 6%. The concludes that out of all the possibilities that there were to answer this open question the majority of individuals picked anatomical features rather than features like mind, soul, worth. These results prove that although some of the above hypothesis was proven wrong,that the majority of individuals as a whole do believe that physical features are the most attractive feature and are more likely to talk and date people who are “physically beautiful”. But broken into two categories male and female, the males do think that physical features are the most important feature that makes an individual attractive, while females show that under certain situations other factors do play a role in what is attractive.


Symbolic-interactionist Perspective
The symbolic-interactionist perspective best fits the topic of my survey “what’s attractive”, because the symbolic-interactionist perspective means that society does present situations, send messages, and give rules to individuals, but it is on the individual level that these situation, messages, rules be interpreted. Attraction is not based on any sole definition, but what the individual believes is attractive and charming to them. It is a result of the messages, teachings, and morals that they are taught by their families, society, peers, and religion and is left to the individual to develop their own standards and ideas to what is attractive.
Summary
Attractive, according to the dictionary, is providing pleasure or delight, esp. in appearance or manner; charming; alluring. While this puts a literal definition on the subject, it depends on the individual to determine what the charming, alluring, features truly are. I believe that the majority of individuals both men and women look at physical features to be the most important in what is attractive because of what society has displayed to us in advertisements in magazine, television, and radio. I strongly believe that this factor makes a big impression on the minds of developing young people. It is rarely seen in commercials fat, out of shape , physically unattractive people laying on top of a car or advertising products such as soap or clothes. Only in instances where this unattractive feature will get fixed is this type of person used for advertising purposes. But on the other hand in a majority of advertisements, the people are unrealistically skinny, very toned from working out, tall, and physically perfect. What kind of message is this sending to our kids? This teaches superficiality is what is attractive and shows the kids that these such perfect physical traits are beautiful and to be beautiful we should be compared to these rare and sometimes unhealthy physical traits. It is hard to show through pictures and is rarely done in television that beauty can come from within. I believe that this aspect needs to come from the teachings we receive in our homes, schools, and from friends early in life.It is usually taught early in life that pretty and fine are attractive and words like ugly are not. While these words do fit the dictionary definition, it is not healthy to allow kids to grow up thinking that if they are not physically attractive that they are not attractive at all. Every individual has their own personality and beliefs and are attractive in some way. Whether it be inside or out, it is what is charming or alluring to the individual and not necessarily what is pretty.