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Attractive, Well-Groomed Women Earn More Money Than Average-Looking Counterparts: Study

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Earning more depends on how attractive and well-groomed a woman is, a study has revealed.

Researchers have found that beauty bias exists and women take advantage of it. Going to the salon and having the hair fixed, nails cleaned and brows plucked are not without intent — it is partially because of the desire to get something out of it.

The purpose of improving one's appearance and its relation to perception was analyzed by Jaclyn Wong, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, in collaboration with Andrew Penner from the University of California in Irvine.

Wong and Penner interviewed 14,000 individuals and asked them about education, job, social behavior, personality and income. All participants were also asked to rate how groomed and attractive they are.

Attractiveness rating was compared with income and other parameters. The result: those rated as attractive are actually earning as much as 20 percent more than those with average attractiveness.

Both men and women rated as attractive have higher incomes, but the study has noted that if a woman is well groomed, she is perceived as more attractive.

"For women, most of the attractiveness advantage comes from being well groomed. For men, only about half of the effect of attractiveness is due to grooming," Wong said.

It could be because women are judged immediately by how they look, and that is the reason why they present themselves in a certain way. It is not simply about being well groomed; it is about looking attractive that serves as the biggest factor of how much one can earn.

Gender Discrimination On Perception

Wong and Penner said that beauty bias exists because of discrimination. It produces a "halo" effect - those who are more attractive are perceived to have a better personality than those who are just average looking.

The findings show that being attractive, for women in particular, is a behavior rather than an innate trait.

Interestingly, Glassdoor data revealed that, if attractiveness is not a factor, men generally have higher earnings than women.

The findings of the study is published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

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