According to a recent study contributed by several UK universities, girls who attend single-sex schools are more attracted to boys with feminine faces. Researchers explained that this phenomenon is a result of a person’s “visual diet”. In other words, because girls in single-sex schools tend to be surrounded by more females, they are more inclined to be attracted to men who have more feminine facial features. The article also cites Leonardo DiCaprio and Jude Law as examples of men who have feminine faces.
I don’t see how Leo or Jude can be considered to have feminine faces, but I admit that a search for younger photos of them do yield “softer” features. Then again, a lot of men look “prettier” when younger – especially pre-pubescent males (Leo circa The Basketball Diaries).
Furthering my skepticism, this study was based on surveys completed by 240 children – a number that is hardly conclusive. This is another reason why I dislike it when journalists write articles based on some “ground-breaking” study; journalists simply should not report on a study when a sample size is too small to even show a correlation between the variables and control group. Statistics similar to this can barely sustain a viable conclusion. But I digress.
Apparently, only tween girls are susceptible to this “visual dieting”:
…Boys demonstrated marginally stronger preferences for facial masculinity in male faces, but did not differ in their ratings of female faces.
Dr Tamsin Saxton, who led the study, said: “Interestingly, the weakest effect of ‘visual diet’ was in relation to boys’ judgments of girls’ faces. This might be because femininity is such an over-riding cue to female facial attractiveness, or perhaps because even at a single-sex school, boys see more female faces around them, in their teachers and so on.”
Now that’s interesting: the fact that there can be more girls at an all-boys school. Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of going to a single-sex school?