A new study by Harvard researchers found that the more physically attractive a person is, the more likely they are to be divorced or have shorter romantic relationships. The study titled “Attractiveness and relationships longevity; Beauty is not what it is cracked up to be” was conducted by having women rate men from their high school yearbooks in attractiveness and then cross-referencing those rankings with each man’s relationship status.
According to an Independent article regarding the study, the researchers also had the women conduct similar rankings based on IMDB profiles where the same results were found — “men who had been considered more attractive were more likely to be divorced or to have had shorter marriages.”
The findings of the study seem to align with previous studies that have assessed perceptions of others’ attractiveness based on the viewer’s dating status. In those previous studies, researchers have found that participants in relationships generally tend to view others less attractive than single participants viewing the same group. However, in stark contrast to this trend, those participants in the previous study that were themselves rated attractive actually were more likely to view others as attractive when the participant was themselves in a relationship.
While these studies do raise interesting questions, their results are certainly up for debate. The recent Harvard study in particular only used two participants which calls into doubt whether the researchers utilized an appropriate sample size.