Sympathy as an „equivalent” to attractiveness of an aging female face

Lada Pavlíková


Attractiveness, including the face, is under the influence of evolutionary theory associated with youth, reproduction and a mate selection. The physically attractive face in this sense is a woman's face with clear sexually dimorphic (feminine) characters, symmetrical with average proportions and that, which possibly seems familiar to them. The vast majority of work dealing with a facial attractiveness uses for its assessment the static photographs of young women faces, whose average age does not exceed 25 years. The purpose of this study is not to deny the attractiveness of youth, but it is trying to find an answer to the question of whether even woman’s face bearing the signs of aging could be perceived as attractive by others. It was therefore used facial photographs of women aged between 50–65 years for evaluation, which were rated by 120 respondents, stratified by age and sex into four sub-groups – younger women, younger men, older women and older men. It turned out that to associate aging with a physical attractiveness is for evaluators unnatural and faces, which, by their own words, have been marked as „sympathetic“ gave to them the impression of a good character at first glance. It seems therefore, that in aging women is valued by others rather their „inner beauty“ and a personal attractiveness in the form of traits, attitudes, beliefs, values or interests that respondents can project to, for them attractive, older women face.

(Fulltext in Czech)


attractiveness, aging, female face, sympathy, evolutionary psychology, social psychology, perception


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