Photo: Flickr
Hide Caption

Study: Better looking high schoolers get better grades

a a a a
Share this story

Good looks will get you further in high school than you might think.

According to an analysis published this week based on a national survey of nearly 9,000 high school students, attractiveness translates to better grades.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of adolescents that launched during the 1994 to 1995 school year and has followed individuals periodically into their 20s and 30s.

Interviewers conducting the survey first rated students' attractiveness. The researchers then obtained data on grade point averages for the analysis.

Does this study favor one sex over the other?

For both girls and boys, being rated as attractive rather than average in looks — what Gordon calls "standing out from the crowd" — is most important for adolescents, said Rachel Gordon of the University of Illinois-Chicago.

"But these advantages differ for men and women," Caroline Heldman, an associate professor of politics at Occidental College in Los Angeles who studies gender issues and is familiar with the study, told USA Today.

"Attractive women will get a benefit overall in occupations, but when you're talking about leadership positions, being sexually attractive actually works against you," Heldman added.

The new study does find some disadvantages associated with being attractive, such as being more likely to date, have sexual partners and drink heavily, says USA Today.

On the opposite side, those rated below average in looks in high school didn't suffer an overall disadvantage in terms of grades. But the study said that those rated by others as "being on the ugly side of looks" are more prone to suffer from depression and have fewer friends than those average in looks.

Findings appear in Physical Attractiveness and the Accumulation of Social and Human Capital in Adolescence and Young Adulthood, which is set to publish online Friday.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Education
High school at Cincinnati State haven for gifted
High school at Cincinnati State haven for gifted

Attending high school at community college earns students two degrees, self-esteem and a focus on science and math learning.

US News: Six Tri-State schools named best
US News: Six Tri-State schools named best

Cincinnati Public Schools' Walnut Hills High School earned the No. 1 ranking in Ohio in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey,…

Some Catholics, teachers protest morality clause
Some Catholics, teachers protest morality clause

Thousands of teachers, parents and parishioners oppose the morality clause within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's teacher contract and…

Former supt. to serve two years for embezzlement
Former supt. to serve two years for embezzlement

A former superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for embezzling hundreds of thousands of…

Indiana panel approves new school standards
Indiana panel approves new school standards

A panel of Indiana business and education leaders is supporting new education benchmarks to replace the national Common Core standards.

Parents: Firing Clermont Co. principal a mistake
Parents: Firing Clermont Co. principal a mistake

The superintendent of the Clermont County School District says firing a principal had to be done, but parents and students believe he made a…

UC goes 'green' with new car charging station
UC goes 'green' with new car charging station

On Saturday, University of Cincinnati officials unveiled the first electric vehicle-charging station on or even around the Clifton campus.

Campus sexual assault: Xavier aims at redemption
Campus sexual assault: Xavier aims at redemption

This time of year, high school seniors are deciding where to go to college. For many young women and their parents, the issue of campus…

Fairfield teacher: I'm not sorry for what I said
Fairfield teacher: I'm not sorry for what I said

The day after he lost his job for making racially tinged comments about President Barack Obama, a former Fairfield Freshman School teacher…

NKU reforms aim to prevent another money scandal
NKU reforms aim to prevent another money scandal

Northern Kentucky University's former athletic director got away with stealing $311,000 during a six-year spree.

WCPO Education Reporter