I find this shocking.

In what we’re sure is simply totally a coincidence and nothing more, the grades of attractive female students examined by a new study fell after classes were moved online during the Covid lockdowns. 

A brand new research paper called “Student beauty and grades under in-person and remote teaching” found that “when education is in-person, attractive students receive higher grades”. 

The same study found that “grades of attractive females declined when teaching was conducted remotely” and that “the effect is only present in courses with significant teacher–student interaction.”

The paper had a jury of 74 people rate the looks of 307 engineering students on a scale of 1 to 10. From there, it looked at the data behind the students’ grades prior to, and during, pandemic lockdowns, at the Industrial Engineering Program at Lund University.

“This paper has shown that students’ facial attractiveness impact academic outcomes when classes are held in-person,” the study concluded.

“As education moved online following the onset of the pandemic, the grades of attractive female students deteriorated. This finding implies that the female beauty premium observed when education is in-person is likely to be chiefly a consequence of discrimination,” it continued.

“On the contrary, for male students, there was still a significant beauty premium even after the introduction of online teaching. The latter finding suggests that for males in particular, beauty can be a productivity-enhancing attribute.”

“The pandemic provided us with a great opportunity to disentangle whether this beauty premium is due to discrimination or the result of some productive attribute,” the author of the study, Adrian Mehic of Lund University, told The Times.

You can view the study in all its glory here.

4 Comments

  1. Rocketguy says:

    I dunno – the idea is more than plausible but, after seeing the vague hand wave explanation of the effect for male students, it makes me question whether the female effect is real or confirmation bias.

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  2. John M. says:

    How many pretty female engineering students did they have in a sample of 307? I think it was statistically insignificant.

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    1. Rocketguy says:

      Good point. I’m going to say my graduating class (just mech/aero engr) was 25-ish and there were…4 females? Of course, focusing on facts and logic and ignoring the more important “current thing” narrative is a major indicator that you’re a white supremacist!

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  3. Now I know why my grades in engineering school were so bad!

    Like

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