A study by the University of Southampton, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), has found that the good judgement (common sense) practise of safe sex is often abandoned when men are faced with women that they find very attractive.
“Traditional approaches to sex education tend to assume an element of rational behaviour”, said lead researcher, Anastasia Eleftheriou; “in the sense that people will try to reduce the risks they take once these risks have been pointed out to them. This study shows, in an innovative way, that there are limits to this self-protective and careful approach”. This fact has “important implications” that could change the way that safe sex is promoted.
“Young People need to be well-informed of the different ways in which they and others make decisions” said Ms Eleftheriou, “and need to be supported and encouraged to engage with the realities of their social and sexual lives. ”
I found this study interesting because it lines up with similar studies highlighting the differences between how people who are considered attractive are perceived/treated compared to those who are seen as less attractive.
Beauty premium phenomenon:
Studies show that a better physical appearance contributes to the belief of a person being better, smarter, more successful, more important, and more valuable:
- The scores of those physically attractive are higher than less physically attractive people on measures of affect and mood.
- People tend to believe attractive people as smarter, more successful, more sociable, more dominant, sexually warmer, mentally healthier and higher in self-esteem than physically unattractive people.
- Physically attractive people are more sociable and less socially anxious and lonely than less physically attractive people.
- Physically attractive people are more popular than less attractive people and people are more likely to have an interaction with people who are physically attractive.
- Individuals are more likely to give personal information to physically attractive people than less physically attractive people.
- A physically attractive person is more likely to be reinforced than a less attractive person.
- Physically unattractive people with psychological disturbance are judged to be more maladjusted and to have a poorer prognosis than physically attractive people with the same psychological disturbance.
- A physically attractive person is more likely to be found less guilty than a less attractive person while they are charged with the same crime.
- Physically unattractive defendants are considered to be more dangerous than physically attractive offenders in sex-related crimes.