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'Ugly' children get less attention


Key points
• Study finds parents discriminate between children based on 'attractiveness'
• Canadian study showed parents more likely to neglect 'unattractive' children
• Attractiveness described in terms of facial symmetry, cleanliness and attire

Key quote
"Most parents will react to this with shock and dismay. They’ll say ‘I love my kids and I don’t discriminate on the basis of attractiveness.’ The point of our research is that people do" - Dr Andrew Harrell, University of Alberta, Canada

Story in full GOOD-looking children get more attention from their parents than less attractive ones, new research has claimed.

The study by scientists from the University of Alberta in Canada watched parents shopping in supermarkets with children. It found that unattractive children were allowed to wander further and more often from parents than their more attractive siblings, and also revealed that unattractive children were less likely to be strapped into the trolley.

The research team, led by Dr Andrew Harrell, studied more than 400 families with children aged between two and five in 14 shops. Volunteers graded each child independently on a scale of one to ten for attractiveness.

Only 1.2 per cent of the least attractive children were buckled into trolleys compared with 13.3 per cent of the most attractive.

Dr Harrell, a father of five and grandfather of three, said: "Attractiveness as a predictor of behaviour, especially of parenting behaviour, has been around for a long time.

"Most parents will react to this with shock and dismay. They’ll say ‘I love my kids and I don’t discriminate on the basis of attractiveness.’ The point of our research is that people do.
By netchicken: posted on 3-5-2005








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