If Kids Hate You, It's Probably Because You're Unattractive (Says Science)

Kids always tell the truth — for better or worse.

little girl holding teddy bear sticking her tongue out Stephanie Frey / Shutterstock

Do you ever wonder why kids are immediately attached to some people, whereas others, take one look at their faces and end up crying hysterically?

When it comes to honesty and frankness about what they're thinking, most kids don't hold back when it comes to their thoughts

You can ask a kid anything and you know they're gonna tell you the truth, they haven't learned social norms yet. What a great time in life that was.


A psychological study may have the answer as to why kids like and trust some people, and despise others. Depending on how kids react to you, this may either be good news or bad news. 

RELATED: The 39 Best Ways To Make Kids Feel Loved, According To 39 Parenting Experts

RELATED: 5 Small Things You Do That Seriously Mess Up Your Kids


In this study, published in the Frontiers of Psychology, researchers in China "examined developmental changes in children's abilities to make trustworthiness judgments based on faces and the relationship between a child's perception of trustworthiness and facial attractiveness."

In other words, if kids find you attractive, they like and trust you.

To get to this conclusion, the researchers gathered 101 children aged between 8 and 12 years old, along with 37 undergraduate students. They asked participants to rate the trustworthiness of 200 neutral male faces. Then, the participants judged these faces for their attractiveness. 

RELATED: 8 Things I Wish I Never Told My Kids (Because It Totally Backfired)


For the young adults in the study, the agreement between trustworthiness and attractiveness increased with age. For children, however, the agreement was much more consistent.

"These findings suggest that face-based trait judgment ability develops throughout childhood and that, like adults, children may use facial attractiveness as a heuristic cue that signals a stranger's trustworthiness," says the study. 

The judgment of little girls, especially, is much closer than that of little boys. 

RELATED: 10 One-Liners That Basically Sum Up Parenting Small Children

The study shows that "people use facial cues to make judgments on a person's character — and this ability to infer social traits is a crucial part of social functioning and development."


In short, the more attractive you are, the more trustworthy you appear. 

As adults, though, we know better than to judge a book by its cover, and we never truly know a person's personality simply based on how attractive they are. So instead, we learn to get to know someone and sometimes find that although someone is attractive, they can also be real jerks who don't deserve our attention.

This is a lesson to teach children early on so they grow up to judge a person based on their character and not their face.


RELATED: Woman Raising 10 Kids With 3 Men Says The Children Have 'Great Lives' Because All The Stuff The 'Baby Daddies' Do For Them

Caithlin Pena is an editor and former contributor for YourTango. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Psych Central, and BRIDES.