The Campus Beauty Tax

Besieged on campus by amorous female students, University of Alabama economics professor Gary A. Hoover relocated to a home 45 miles away. “I don’t want to end up in a bar and see some nice-looking lady,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education, “and then come to find out, ‘I’m in your Tuesday/Thursday class.'” It’s the unlikely but true story of too-attractive academics. They reap the benefits of the beauty premium–attractive people tend to be better rewarded by the job market–but find being gorgeous a professional burden. [%comments]

Barry Hollander

As a University of Georgia professor, I have unfortunately never suffered from this problem. Or maybe it's fortunate, given I'm married.

Pup, MD

Cry me a river.


There's also positive externality because students pay more attention to attractive professors. But if they're too gorgeous, then the focus might not be entirely on the lecture anymore.

David Duty

Is this the whole article? Did I click on USA Today by accident?

Ian Kemmish

What's he doing hitting on women that much younger than him anyway?

Eric M. Jones

You bring back the fond memory of my beautiful French teacher Mademoiselle Rule, who would try -in vain-to teach me French verbs while scaring me senseless in class with her long legs and perfume and silken, sexy...but I digress.

...."Votre grenouille a mangé mon dejeuner"


When I was a young professor in California, I was amused by the attention until one woman started stalking me. Not a pleasant experience.


That's one of the problems I share with Dennis Kucinich and Henry Waxman.

Sarah Anthony

It is always easier to be more attractive, provided you look professional. Always.


Awe shucks what a problem to have. One solution is that he needs NOT to go to student oriented bars.

But probably more so in the Southeast region where -some- of the female students can really turn up the bimbo factor that, coupled with the Southern accent, could be a problem given the new rules on student/professor socializing.

And don't discount that the female students could be after higher grades too.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

I was stuck in traffic. There were few pedestrians, so eyeballs followed a a young women with shapely hips and mini shirt walking on the sidewalk. To be honest she was not a knockout.

However one of the drivers got so distracted rubber necking he rear-ended the car in front of him. This ruptured his radiator, broke windshield glass, triggered airbags, worsened traffic backing up for a mile, and resulted in police and EMS response and someone to sweep and broom the broken glass. And the woman continued walking oblivious to her trail of destruction.

Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships. Having a figure that can stop traffic is also a power that must be tempered. Perhaps mandatory Black Burkas for Rush Hour. I learned that Mini Skirts are Evil.


Alternate solution: teach EE classes. Or teach in engineering at Georgia Tech. Your chances of that happening will plummet (although not completely disappear; there are a few surprises).


It's only a burden if you know you'll give into temptation. Professor Hoover obviously doesn't trust himself


I'm a student at a pretty large (28,000 undergrads) university, and I couldn't care less about how my professors look. This may not hold true for TAs, but those are pretty close to my age. I use to find teachers that are skilled in teaching and don't overload the students, which happens frequently here. I ignore the hotness ratings, because I thought it was a popularity thing until today. I thought that perhaps it was about attractiveness, but I thought to myself, no, that's ridiculous, who would care about that?

I do like having younger professors who can relate to their students, but I also enjoy having older professors who love to teach and love the students that come into the classroom. I had a younger woman teach a business english class last semester (younger as in about 35, I would guess), and she would come in with fairly fashionable clothes and heels. My thought was always, tone it down, I came here to learn, not look at your outfit. I guess I just like women my own age.



A more important burden associated with being unusually attractive is that one really does become addicted to the attention, and it causes one to resist moves (such as getting married) that would lessen the opportunities for a fix. For the sake of frequent ego strokes the beautiful may forsake the family life that would have ultimately proven more satisfying to them.


One of my friend's students has even written an official complain latter. The essence of this letter was that her breast is too big, and thus and he can't study in such conditions :-)


Once my student told me that she does not know what I am doing at the university. She said, I would have probably made more money as a high class hooker. She meant to make a compliment. I said that being a hooker is not a part of my interests and forgot about it until now. So this newspaper anecdote is not that rare ... and I have an average look.


Hot professors should be allocated to majors that have staff shortages in the real world (i.e. nurses, elementary school teachers, etc.).

We can also increase women in the sciences by hiring more attractive men in those fields.


If those three individuals on the photos are perceived as good-looking, it suggests causality in the opposite direction: once you are seen as knowledgeable, smart and whatever else it takes to be a professor, you suddenly don't look that ugly anymore.


Re # 11(Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team)

You've got it wrong. It was not "her trail of destruction"; it was the driver's. Or was your post tongue in cheek?