PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We all like to think life is easiest for the most attractive of us, and a recent study did not help to refute that notion one bit. According to researchers at Metropolitan State University in Denver, college professors on average give higher grades to more attractive women.
According to the study, that is the case whether or not the professor is a man or a woman. The study also found that the advantage does not seem to work for male students who experience no significant difference in grades based on looks.
The study was conducted by two Metropolitan State University economists, Rey Hernández-Julián and Christina Peters. The two gathered student ID’s and had the pictures graded on attractiveness by people not associated with the school. The pictures were graded on a 1-10 scale.
168,092 grades administered to the students were gathered for comparisons and standardized test scores were used to control for the academic abilities of the students.
Based on a 4.0 grading scale, women experienced a 0.024 increase in grade for one standard deviation in attractiveness.
The research showed a significant difference in grades for women that fell into the lowest third based on attractiveness rating.
To go a step further, the researchers took to the school’s online course offerings. The study reported that the grade advantage for more attractive women is non-existent in online courses.
It is unclear what the explanation is for the difference in grades, but one of the researchers called the findings of the study “troubling.”