University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal - What Is Appealing?: Sex and Racial Differences in Perceptions of the Physical Attractiveness of Women
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Beauty and physical appearance are considered to be of great importance in today's society. In the U.S., many strive for physical perfection, and much attention is focused on the way one looks. A beauty ideal has been created over time through the combination of several elements within American culture, and this ideal image attempts to define female beauty as fitting into a certain mold. Certain characteristics have been deemed the most attractive when it comes to female physical attractiveness, and a model of beauty has been presented by the media. This research focuses on whether everyone buys into that ideal. Surveys were administered to 300 University of Central Florida students age 18-35. Participants were asked about ten different physical characteristics relating to women, and were asked to choose the characteristic among a group of options that they found the most physically attractive or beautiful. Using SPSS, this research evaluates if the male perception of female beauty differs from the female one and assesses if race influences these perceptions. Results showed that both sex and racial differences exist. While there have been studies related to topics such as these, there are very few, if any, studies such as this one, which focuses on both gender and racial differences in relation to perceptions of the physical attractiveness of women, as well as on the views of both sexes on women as opposed to their views on the opposite sex.

KEYWORDS: Sex, Race, Gender, Beauty, Attractiveness, Physical Appearance, Perceptions, Media, Women

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