Why some girls like pretty boys?

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Actor Zac Efron. Image © Phil Mccarten/Reuters/Corbis

Actor Zac Efron, © Phil Mccarten/Reuters/Corbis

Girls who attend single sex schools are more likely to find boys with “feminine” features attractive, according to a story from the BBC. The article refers to a study from St. Andrews University in Scotland, in which researchers asked 240 kids between the ages of 11-15 to rate faces by attractiveness. They found that, girls who attended all-girl schools were more likely to prefer boys with effeminate features, as compared with girls who attended coed schools.

Not all girls who attended single-sex schools showed the preference for feminine features, however. Those who went to all-girls school but had male siblings, showed no preference for effeminate faces. For boys who attended single-sex schools, there was no significant effect in how they rated girls’ facial characteristics, but they did show a preference for more masculine looking faces among fellow boys. The findings led researchers believe that visual exposure—or “visual diet”—may play a central role in determining what types of features we find most attractive.