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Scientific research on facial attractiveness has focused primarily on elucidating universal factors to which all raters respond consistently. However, recent work has shown that there is also substantial disagreement between raters, highlighting the importance of determining how attractiveness preferences vary among different individuals. We conducted a typical attractiveness ratings study, but took the unusual step of recruiting pairs of subjects who were spouses, siblings, or close friends. The agreement between pairs of affiliated friends, siblings, and spouses was significantly greater than between pairs of strangers drawn from the same race and culture, providing evidence that facial-attractiveness preferences are socially organized.

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P. Bronstad & R. Russell, 2007. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Perception, 36, 11, 1674-1681, 2007, doi:10.1068/p5793.