Blind people value members of the other sex in the same way as non-blind people, that is, men value the physical attractiveness of women and women, the status and material resources of men .
This is what this new study , still preprint , from researchers at the University of Aberdeen suggests.
Blindness at different ages
Cross-cultural research has repeatedly demonstrated the sex differences of the characteristics of men and women when choosing a partner. Men tend to have higher preferences for younger and more physically attractive women, while women tend to place more importance on the status and resources of men.
As evaluation of such partner characteristics is often based on visual cues, this raises the question of whether visual experience is necessary for sex-specific partner preferences to develop.
For this, the study evaluated 94 sighted and blind participants with different ages of onset of blindness. The results replicated well-documented findings in psychics, with men placing more importance on physical attractiveness and women placing more importance on status and resources. However, although physical attractiveness was less important to blind men, blind women considered physical attractiveness to be as important as sighted women .
The importance of high status and a pleasant personality was not influenced by sight . Blind people considered auditory cues to be more important than visual cues, while sighted men showed the opposite pattern.
It is intriguing to consider what auditory or other cues, in addition to a pleasant voice, indicate a good physique. Can the blind distinguish step or weight when they hear footsteps? Do the least fit smell bad? Can you feel the quality, cleanliness or muscularity of the skin with handshakes or hugs?
A blind person is also likely to rate a partner’s specific visual traits if these traits are generally rated as more desirable within a society because having a more socially desirable partner can increase one’s worth .
In other words, the same dynamics about the attractiveness of a potential partner continue to occur: a mixture of biological predispositions + a desire to obtain what society considers valuable to increase status + the handicap theory (the difficult to achieve becomes desirable ). Which explains complex signs like high heels or an expensive but uncomfortable car :