Monday, January 25, 2021

Does Beauty Squash Our Intelligence?

February 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Body Image, Loving Your Body, Self Esteem

intelligence, attractive, value, media, self perception, body image, esteem,

Does being attractive hamper our intellectual development? A new study in social psychology suggests it does, according to Psych Central. In the study, women who are looked at as sexual objects not only react as sexual objects, they also exhibit less proficiency with math.

The research examined the effect of the “objectifying gaze” (the visual inspection of one’s body by another person) on undergraduates’ math performance. Motivation to interact with the objectifying person in the future was also measured as well as body image outcomes, including body surveillance, body shame, and body dissatisfaction.

“The objectifying gaze is particularly problematic for women,” according to Drs. Sarah J. Gervais, Theresa K. Vescio, and Jill Allen.

“And it may lead to a vicious cycle in which women are first objectified and, as a result, underperform, confirming the notion that women’s looks are more important than what they can do.”

Researchers found that the objectifying gaze lowered women’s math performance, but not men’s. The research was published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.



2 Responses to “Does Beauty Squash Our Intelligence?”
  1. Liliana says:

    While I have no doubt that being objectified is extremely damaging and inhibits intellectual development, I find the title of this post and the idea behind it very problematic. Being beautiful does not “squash our intelligence” any more than being black or lesbian or “ugly” would. Making the point of this study to be about beauty blames women for being beautiful rather than blaming the sexism and objectification of the male gaze we experience constantly in our society.

    So to answer your question: No, beauty does not squash our intelligence. Objectification does.

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