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Do kids like attractive people?

Have you ever wondered if children have a preference for attractive people? It turns out that just like adults, children seem to be drawn to attractive faces. Research conducted by Dr. Alan Slater at the University of Exeter in the UK suggests that babies even as young as a few months old show a preference for attractive faces. This intriguing finding raises interesting questions about the role of attractiveness in social interactions and its impact on children’s development.

In this blog post, we will explore the topic of whether kids like attractive people. We will delve into the research on children’s preference for attractive faces, examine the psychological reasons behind this preference, and discuss the potential implications on children’s social interactions and development. Additionally, we will provide practical implications for parents and educators to promote self-esteem, inclusion, and appreciation of diversity.

Research on children’s preference for attractive faces

Dr. Alan Slater’s study at the University of Exeter aimed to understand whether babies show a preference for attractive faces. The researchers took photos of various female faces and asked participants to rate them for attractiveness on a scale from 1 to 5. The findings revealed that not only did babies show a preference for attractive faces, but their preferences align with those of adults.

This suggests that children, from a young age, have a natural inclination towards attractive faces. The study also highlights the similarities between children and adults when it comes to visual preferences, challenging the notion that attractiveness is solely a learned social construct.

Psychological reasons behind children’s preference for attractiveness

There are several psychological theories that attempt to explain why children may prefer attractive faces. One such theory is rooted in evolutionary principles. According to this perspective, attractiveness serves as a signal of good health and fertility. Children may have an innate preference for symmetrical facial features and other markers of good genes, as they subconsciously recognize the potential benefits in terms of genetic fitness.

Additionally, social learning and cultural influences play a role in shaping children’s preference for attractiveness. From a young age, children are exposed to societal ideals of beauty through media, advertising, and cultural norms. They observe and internalize the messages that define attractiveness, leading to the development of preferences based on these ideals.

Impact of attractiveness on children’s social interactions

The preference for attractive individuals can have implications for children’s social interactions. In peer relationships, physical appearance often plays a significant role in social acceptance. Children who are perceived as more attractive may be more likely to be included in social groups, while those considered less attractive may face exclusion or isolation.

Furthermore, attractiveness can influence the formation of cliques among children, where groups may be based on shared physical characteristics. This can perpetuate a superficial hierarchy where attractiveness becomes a defining factor for acceptance and popularity.

Teachers and other authority figures also play a role in the impact of attractiveness on children’s social interactions. There is a stereotype that attractive individuals are more competent, which might lead to biased expectations and interactions between teachers and students. Children who are perceived as attractive may receive preferential treatment or higher expectations from their teachers compared to less attractive classmates.

Potential implications and considerations for children’s development

The preference for attractiveness can have potential implications for children’s development. One area of concern is self-esteem and body image. Children who are consistently exposed to societal ideals of beauty and perceive themselves as less attractive may experience lower self-esteem and a negative body image. This can lead to the development of body dissatisfaction and potentially contribute to negative psychological outcomes.

It is crucial to also consider the importance of equality and inclusivity in children’s development. This preference for attractiveness may perpetuate a narrow definition of beauty and create a culture that values physical appearance above other qualities. It is essential to promote the value of individuals beyond their looks and encourage acceptance and appreciation of diverse individuals.

Practical implications for parents and educators

As parents and educators, there are practical steps we can take to promote healthy self-esteem and inclusivity among children. Firstly, it is crucial to emphasize inner qualities, such as kindness, empathy, and intelligence, rather than solely focusing on physical appearance. By highlighting and celebrating these qualities, children can develop a well-rounded sense of self-worth.

Additionally, promoting inclusion and diversity is vital. Parents and educators can teach children about the importance of accepting others for who they are, regardless of their looks. Exposing children to a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and appearances can help foster an understanding and appreciation for diversity.


In conclusion, children do appear to have a preference for attractive people, similar to adults. Research by Dr. Alan Slater at the University of Exeter suggests that even babies show a preference for attractive faces. This preference is influenced by evolutionary factors, social learning, and cultural influences.

The impact of attractiveness on children’s social interactions is significant, with implications for peer relationships and teacher-student dynamics. It is crucial to consider the potential effects on children’s self-esteem and body image, as well as the importance of promoting equality and inclusivity.

Parents and educators play a vital role in promoting healthy self-esteem and a positive body image among children. By emphasizing inner qualities and encouraging acceptance of diversity, we can help children develop a broader perspective on beauty and value beyond physical appearance. Ultimately, fostering a positive attitude towards oneself and others contributes to a healthier, more inclusive society for everyone.


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