Too Sexy For That Job, Too Sexy For That Job…

This doesn’t surprise me at all, actually.

According to a new study carried out in the US and UK, handsome men are more likely to be seen as a threat by their bosses and are hence less likely to score equally powerful positions. The study involved researchers at University College London’s School of Management and the University of Maryland in the US carrying out four separate experiments in four different offices, according to the Daily Mail. They found that when men were hiring other men to work with them, their decision was negatively affected by the attractiveness of the candidate and the type of job. Women’s perceived hotness, shockingly, did not prevent them from being desirable additions to the boardroom.

“Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests so organizations may not get the most competent candidates” said professor Sun Young Lee, lead researcher at the University of Maryland. “With more companies involving employees in recruitment processes, this important point needs attention. Awareness that hiring is affected by potential work relationships and stereotyping tendencies can help organizations improve their selection processes.”

Men have a tendency to be really catty (for lack of a better term) when it comes to attractive actors. It took a decade before guys would admit that Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio had talent, and I think a lot of that is based on assumptions that they were just pretty boys.

I remember a guy back when I was in college or just out of it. Took me a long time to warm up to him. I realized at some point it was because I was making assumptions about him based on his gorgeous appearance. It wasn’t even jealousy in any real sense. It was just a sense of “guys that look like that.”

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9 thoughts on “Too Sexy For That Job, Too Sexy For That Job…

  1. I wonder if this is because the percentage of men deemed to be physically attractive seems a lot lower than the percentage of women deemed physically attractive. Most heterosexual men really don’t have the experience of having heterosexual women check them out, so who gets that a lot is seen as a threat.


    • I wonder if this is because the percentage of men deemed to be physically attractive seems a lot lower than the percentage of women deemed physically attractive.

      My experience over the decades is that the median woman spends considerably more effort on grooming and clothing than the median man. I’ve seen lots of men where my reaction is “He’d look like a completely different person with a more flattering haircut, a better shave, and a pair of pants that fit.”


  2. Hmmm…I wonder if it’s more that many people have worked with enough good looking guys who are either total a-holes or think they can skate by on charm and leave everyone else to do the work for them that there’s a subconscious bias against hiring them.

    Good looking women, on the other hand, while you do certainly come across ones that are not the hardest of workers from time to time, or are unkind to others, it’s not at all a given that they’ll be lazy or unpleasant. I’ve worked with plenty of guys and the good looking ones have without exception been awful coworkers.


    • Eh, I think that is more a perception on your part than any kind of truism. I have known many good looking men who were quite good workers, friendly to a fault, kind and all around good people. Both as my bosses and as my employees. I have also known ugly men who fit those descriptions. Women, both ugly and attractive, can be and are good, solid workers. And the opposite holds true for both sexes.

      In fact, one’s looks have nothing to do with one’s job performance.


  3. I wish this study had been done about 10 years ago – when my dad was asking how come I hadn’t risen to the top of the company I was working for, I could’ve just said “Dad, it’s not my fault, I’m just too good-looking.”


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