Gender, sexual orientation, and truth-of-consensus in studies of physical attractiveness

James M. Donovan, Elizabeth Hill, William R. Jankowiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Truth-of-consensus methodology presently holds that sex differences in perceptions of physical attractiveness are negligible and may be routinely ignored during prescaling. No determination has been made in the literature of the effects of sexual orientation on this perceptual process. The data presented herein suggest that while sex and sexual orientation of judge are largely irrelevant to prescaling of female stimuli, these variables are important when judging male stimuli. In particular, male homosexuals and male heterosexuals differ significantly in ranking male facial photographs. Thus, experimenters wishing to treat attractiveness levels as known quantities should control for this difference, especially when using a small number of judges for prescaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1989


  • gender
  • physical attractiveness
  • sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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