As you’re reading this right now, your body is getting older. Slowly, but it’s happening. A race against the clock, we’ve started to fight back against the effects and signs of aging. However, in the pursuit to stay young forever, we’ve created an anti-aging industry valued at over $140 billion in 2015. Who will find us attractive when we’re 64 years old? The Beatles asked the same question.
Just how attractive are we perceived to be when we hit a certain age? And how attracted are we to other people of different ages? To find out, we asked over 2,000 Americans to rate the attractiveness of 10 models in each age group.
Here’s what we learned.
Age of the Most Attractive Men and Women
Out of the 2,000 people surveyed, those attracted to men were asked to rate 10 male models in six different age groups (18–21, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties). Which men had the highest average attractiveness rating?
Men in their twenties were perceived to be the most attractive – and had an average attractiveness rating close to 6.5 (out of 10). No other group of men was rated higher than 6.0. After models in their twenties, there’s a gradual decline in ratings, with men in their sixties receiving an average score of 4.0.
When we completed the same process for women, we found that three age groups (18–21, twenties, and thirties) had an average attractiveness rating above 6.5. More specifically, female models aged 18 to 21 and in their twenties were rated above 7.0. Overall, women were perceived to be more attractive than men in four age groups. However, men in their fifties and sixties received a higher average attractiveness rating than their female counterparts.
Rated Female Attractiveness in Six Age Groups
Next, we dived deeper into attractiveness by looking at how respondents of all ages rated 10 models in each age group. It turns out, respondents aged 18 to 21 and up into their thirties – who were attracted to women – gave each set of models an average attractiveness rating at or below the average. These harsh critics differed from participants in their forties, fifties, and sixties, who gave higher scores on average to models of all ages.
Rated Male Attractiveness in Six Age Groups
Respondents in their twenties and thirties who were attracted to men were the pickiest group – they, as a whole, rated men across all ages as less attractive than the determined average. Even those coming of age – who were similarly discerning – rated one group (men in their twenties) as higher than the average.
Younger Eyes Versus An Older Gaze
Now, flip through the graphics and examine the average attractiveness rating of each age group by respondents of all ages. You’ll notice that respondents aged 18 to 21 and in their twenties had similar ratings for women, with attractiveness declining as female models aged.
When we look at participants in their thirties, we see that male models in their sixties are rated closer to the average than female models.
However, male and female models of all ages start to become more attractive to respondents in their forties, fifties, and sixties. Continue to play with the flipbook to see which models your age group finds most attractive.
Beauty At Any Age
While the overall average attractiveness rating of men and women was seen to decrease as models aged, fear not. As respondents aged, they found their own age group to be more attractive.
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For this project, we asked 2,000 survey participants to tell us if they were attracted to men or women. Participants attracted to men were shown 60 images of men in six different age groups (18–21, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69) and were asked to rate their attractiveness. The same was done for participants attracted to women. We averaged all of the ratings per image and further averaged the ratings of all 10 images in each age category to establish a “base” for the average attractiveness rating. We then looked at the average rating of survey participants in each of these six age groups to determine percent difference, allowing us to determine how much more or less each age group rated the attractiveness of other age groups.
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