Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 307–316 | Cite as

Physical attractiveness, body attitudes, and self-concept in late adolescents

  • Richard M. Lerner
  • Stuart A. Karabenick


Seventy male and 119 female late adolescents, enrolled in a college introductory psychology course, rated 24 body characteristics in terms of (1) how important each part was in determining their own physical attractiveness and (2) how physically attractive they assumed each of these parts of their own bodies were. In addition, all subjects responded to a short self-concept scale. Results indicated that males and females rated the importance of the body characteristics for their own physical attractiveness in a markedly similar manner and that mean physical attractiveness ratings were significantly related to the self-concepts of females but not of males. Moreover, the attractiveness ratings of a larger number of individual body parts were significantly related to self-concept for females than for males. Finally, a visual inspection technique for determining physique type was found related to self-concept in males, while this was not the case with a traditional anthropometric index of physique type. Sex differences in the role of physical attractiveness in personality and interpersonal behavior development are discussed.


Body Part Body Attitude Late Adolescent Introductory Psychology Physical Attractiveness 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Lerner
    • 1
  • Stuart A. Karabenick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilanti

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