Physical attractiveness and public intimacy of married couples: An observational study

W. Andrew Harrell1
1University of Alberta, Canada
Cite this article:  Harrell, W. A. (1979). Physical attractiveness and public intimacy of married couples: An observational study. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 7(1), 65-76.

Volume 7 Issue 1 | e250 | Published: February 1979 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1979.7.1.65

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Observational data were collected in a field setting on 558 married couples. It was found that physically attractive couples were more likely than unattractive couples to show public intimacy, i.e., to engage in mutual talking, smiling and touching. Younger couples displayed more public intimacy than older couples. Couples who were similar in age interacted more than couples who were different in age. There was less interaction if the female was older than the male than if the male was older. For couples accompanied by a child, there was a tendency for less adult-to-adult interaction when the child was more attractive than the parents. Finally, husband-wife differences in attractiveness did not significantly influence intimacy.
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