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Culture and aesthetic preferences

Most people from a given culture judge the attractiveness of people from another culture similar to how most people in the other culture judge their own attractiveness:

  • Bernstein, I. H., Lin, T., & McCellan, P. (1982). Cross-vs. within-racial judgments of attractiveness. Perception & Psychophysics, 32, 495-503.
  • Cunningham, M. R., Roberts, A. R., Barbee, A. P., Druen, P. B., & Wu, C. (1995). Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours: consistency and variability in cross-cultural perception of female attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 261-279.
  • Jones, D., & Hill, K. (1993). Criteria of facial attractiveness in five populations. Human Nature, 4(3), 271–296.

There are some cultural differences concerning what people find attractive, and sometimes they can be striking, but there are broad similarities across cultures when it comes to many important correlates of beauty.