Saturday, February 23, 2019

Data: Which ethnic group has the most beautiful women?

Which ethnic group is the most beautiful?  General Social Survey interviewers -- predominately middle-aged white women -- were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of female participants (US residents) with a range from 'very unattractive' (1) to 'very attractive' (5). Here are the means for various groups (with at least ten participants, N = 1,152):

Mean Physical Attractiveness

Spanish  3.93
Puerto Rican  3.76
Muslim  3.64
East Asian  3.57
Mexican  3.56
Italian  3.55
Asian Indian  3.55
Jewish  3.48
Russian  3.47
French  3.43

Total Sample  3.42

German  3.38
Irish  3.38
Czech  3.36
English/Welsh  3.35
Black  3.34
Dutch  3.27
Polish  3.25
American Indian  3.23
French Canadian  3.23
Scottish  3.16
Swedish  2.92

Asians and and darker Caucasian and Hispanic groups have high means, while fairer whites (e.g., Swedish!), American Indians, and blacks have low means.  The gap between the highest group (Spanish) and the lowest (Swedish!) is over one standard deviation -- a huge difference.

This is somewhat consistent with my judgment -- I would give Spaniards a high score and blacks and American Indians low scores -- but north European women seem at least as beautiful to me as southern Europeans. I would give Greek women (with only four cases, too small include here), for example, a low score.  Eastern European women are beautiful, but Czech, Polish, and Russian women don't do very well here.

I thought ratings by interviewers would be more valid than self-ratings, but now I'm not so sure.  The tastes of middle-aged white women don't line up very well with this middle-aged white dude.

I imagine that many of these survey workers are liberals. Perhaps they penalize fair whites because they're too white.

UPDATE:  I discussed this with my wife, and we wondered if intrasexual competition is influencing the ratings. With the Barbie-type being the traditional American ideal, perhaps interviewers penalize fairer white women. It is weird that these interviewers are giving low scores to the women most likely to match the supposed cultural ideal.  (My wife says she is inclined to unfollow blondes who are just too perfect.)


  1. If there's a survey of female attractiveness by race / ethnic group that *doesn't* have black women at the absolute bottom it's bogus.

  2. That's one of the worst ways of measuring female attractiveness imaginable. Hasn't anyone done a study of prostitute prices by ethnicity?


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