Perceptions of Sexual Attractiveness
Plans for a New Study


My online-study on Perceptions of Sexual Attractiveness has been on the web for years now, and I'm planning to set up one or two follow-up studies with pictures of everyday men and women this time. As I'm too lazy to find pictures myself I would like to invite you to send me a picture of yourself, if you don't mind to have your picture published this way.

The pictures required for the test must be similar to those in the current study, i.e., portrait only, about 100 x 150 pixels, and good technical quality. You should not believe that a small portrait picture can convey only little of what really counts for attractiveness. If you have taken my online test mentioned above, you may have noticed how important facial expression and posture, hairstyle and attire, etc. can be. So, when selecting a picture of yourself, or better, taking a new picture, remember it is not just your face as such that can impress or fails to impress the observer. Besides that, it is up to you whether you try to make it as much an "authentic-me" as possible or fake a little bit of what you would like to be seen as in this study.

In addition to replacing the sets of male and female pictures with new ones I would like to create a mutual-rating experiment as a separate study. For that I need about 30 male and 30 female volunteers within about the same age range who would provide their own pictures, and when all participants' pictures are available, rank-order the pictures of the opposite-sex participants of the experiment. Participants' identity would be kept anonymous, and therefore they must not know each other (unless they have the same sex). To be clear here, I do not run a dating service. Having collected the data I will provide feedback to participants showing for all the men whose pictures were sorted by the women, how each of them ranked the pictures of the women and vice versa for every women how she sorted the men's pictures.

Due to the anonymity demands it would not make sense that you coax your own girl-friend or boy-friend to also participate. However, since I expect that more women than men will be interested in this experiment, I would like to encourage male participants to recruit male friends, e.g., fellow-students or colleagues for the experiment.

If you want to participate on one or both of the studies, please, when sending your picture, provide information also on your sexual orientation, your country (and, if applicable, ethnic background), age, marital status, education and occupation. And, of course, make clear whether I may either use your picture only for the current online-study and/or if you want to participate on the mutual-rating experiment.

A final note regarding sexual orientation: The reason why I only asked heterosexuals to participate in my study is that I did not want do mix up attractiveness ratings of people with opposite types of sexual orientation. However, if there are lots of lesbians and/or gays who ask me to get their own studies, I will do it.


Peter Schmolck <p41bsmk@unibw-muenchen.de> 05-Jan-2005