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Herrera, A., Herrera, M. C., and Expósito, F. (2016). Is the beautiful always so good? Influence of physical attractiveness on the social perception of sexual harassment / ¿Es lo bello siempre tan bueno? Influencia del atractivo físico en la percepción social del acoso sexual. Soc. Psychol. Educ. 31, 224–253. doi:10.1080/02134748.2016.1143179.
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One of the variables most related to the process of social perception is physical attractiveness (Agthe, Spörrle, & Maner, 2011). Thus, society tends to assign positive traits to attractive people (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991).
This physical attractiveness also influences the interpretation of harassment, so society does not usually recognize behaviour as sexual harassment when it comes from an attractive physical person (Golden, Johnson and Lopez, 2002).
Participants in the study conducted by Herrera et al. (2016) tended to think that when a physically attractive harass to demonstrate their power (Cleveland & Kerst, 1993). However, when the aggressor is not physically attractive, he is held accountable to a greater extent. Thus there is a social tendency that bullying is reduced when the victim is attractive, and the bully is unattractive (Popovich et al., 1996). This perception is part of the harassment myths related to sexual harassment and physical attractiveness.