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Study finds that beauty means brains

LSE study reports positive link between attractiveness and intelligence
Chrissie Murray on Thursday 20th January 2011
Photograph: Sophie Balfour-Lynn
A recent study by the London School of Economics suggests that there is a link between beauty and IQ.

The new research shows that there is a significant positive correlation between physical attractiveness and general intelligence, both with and without controls for social class, body size and health.

The news has been welcomed by Oxford students, who last year were collectively deemed the ugliest university in the UK by MTV show 'The Freshers'. The same programme also found Oxford students to be "the worst behaved in Britain."

Former Fit College champion Chris De Beneducci reflected that "Oxford has a bad reputation, but I do think the top drawer contains some absolute stunners".

In the past, Oxford alumni have been internationally recognised for their beauty. New College produced actor Hugh Grant, who was voted the seventh sexiest man alive in a poll for People Magazine, as well as actress Kate Beckinsale who came twelfth in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in 2008.

History student Matthew Chan, of University Challenge fame and namesake of the Facebook group 'Matthew Chan: phwoar' responded to the news with characteristic sarcasm. "I'm good looking? My calculations hadn't anticipated this."

Chan told Cherwell he has his own theory on the matter. "My feeling is that the preconception that smart people have to be ugly, and beautiful people have to be dim, is a kind of division of labour idea in which society runs more efficiently if some people exist just to do the work of looking good and nothing else, and others exist just to do the thinking.

"The fact that there are people who are both good looking and smart just isn't economically efficient."

Rachel Burrows, of Worcester College, was not entirely convinced by the findings either, commenting, "I think you have two categories of boys in Oxford; the pretty ones who struggle to find a personality, and the genuinely nice but slightly nerdy looking ones".

"The men just don't cut it in comparison to the girls in general". The study also showed that people who are good-looking attract partners who are both beautiful and intelligent. As a result, the children of these couples will tend to inherit both of these qualities too.

Third year chemist Michael Frazis certainly hopes so. His father George Frazis, who is CEO of Westpac New Zealand, was recently voted the 27th hottest man in Auckland.

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