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They Say: Nice Girls, Neat Boys Get Better Grades

nice-girlsAlong with flashcards, private tutors and piping in Mozart, you’ll want to include neatly pressed slacks and personality coaching in your child’s long-term educational strategies.

A new study has found a significant link between beauty and grades, something everyone but the beautiful have long suspected.

In “Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School“, forthcoming in the August issue of Labour Economics, University of Miami sociologist Michael T. French found that a student’s high school GPA was influenced by the three factors in the title.

What’s interesting is that even more helpful than beauty for girls (and boys, who aren’t helped that much by being good-looking) is personality and grooming.

A summary of the findings from Newsweek:

  • Physical attractiveness alone boosts GPA for both genders.
  • Nevertheless, physical attractiveness was a weaker predictor of grades than grooming (for boys) and personality (for girls).
  • That suggests that teacher bias plays a significant role in what grades students get. Teachers reward some physical and personality types and penalize others.

So how exactly do so-called “beauty premiums” and “plainness penalties” work? No time to find out. I’ve got to get the girls trimmed and tweezed and, if there’s time, practice demure smiling and gentle questioning and just being really, really nice. We’re Harvard-bound!

Okay all you teacher out there, don’t deny it! You dock the stinky kids just because.

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Photo: NY Times

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