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Posted September 22, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan. Consequently, smoking rates have dropped ificantly over the last few decades. With the drop in usage has come a decrease in social acceptability—even within the increasingly few public areas where it is still permitted.
But what about personal image? Is it currently viewed as glamorous or hazardous?
Research has some answers. John S. Seiter et al. The models in their study wore the same clothes, had the same facial expression, and were positioned in the same pose; the only difference was the smoking models held a cigarette with smoke rising from the tip. They found that except for the areas of composure where they found no differences and extroversion where smokers were rated higher than their nonsmoking counterpartssmokers were rated less favorably on every variable they examined.
In contrast with research that found no difference, they found that smokers were rated ificantly lower than nonsmokers in these areas—leading them to suggest that people are increasingly viewing smokers in a negative light.
Another study by John R. Beech and James Whittaker had examined how female smokers are perceived by both men and women who either did or did not smoke themselves. They found that models who were not smoking and wore no glasses were considered to be the most attractive, and least attractive when wearing glasses.
Regarding the ratings of sexual interest, participants found the models in the smoking pose were rated as being most sexually interested, and models wearing glasses were rated as being the least sexually interested. On the topic of intelligence, it was the models wearing glasses who were ranked as most intelligent, with smokers ranked as least intelligent. Does affinity attract? Perhaps to an extent. Beech and Whittaker found that participants who were smokers rated smoking models as more attractive, but on par with nonsmokers in terms of perceived intelligence.
Nonsmoking participants, on the other hand, rated smoking models as both less intelligent and less attractive than nonsmokers.
They found no ificant gender distinctions in their. Eveline Vincke examined perceptions of young male smokers in contexts associated with short-term mating. Why is this true? Vincke notes that cigarettes and alcohol are forms of physical risk-takingdue to the many negative health consequences. Consequently, such men are viewed as more appealing dating partners only on a short term basis.
Taken together, this research appears to indicate the desirability of tobacco-free living both personally and relationally. Not only are nonsmokers viewed as more attractive overall, and particularly when viewed as potential long term partners, they will no doubt be healthier as a group due to the negative health consequences caused by tobacco use. Wendy L. Patrick, J. Why Bad Looks Good. Is Smoking Still Viewed as Sexy?
The social and relational consequences of lighting up. About the Author. Online: wendypatrickphd. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine.
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