Blind people and attractiveness.

Do folks who have been blind since birth have any concept of “pretty”, as in pretty girl or boy? I’ve seen in movies where a blind person would run his/her hands over someone’s face and remark on how attractive they were, but that’s the movies.
Would a blind, hetro woman agree that Brad Pitt is indeed very sexy. just from touching his face?
I’m torn between asking this here, or in IMHO, since I’m not asking if someone’s pretty, but if, and maybe how, someone else perceives that prettiness.

Here is a terribly unsubstantiated, ill-remembered cite, but I remember reading that some blind people - men, IIRC - can have arousal problems or low sex-drive problems because sexual arousal in males is (generally) related to visual stimuli.

There’s no way that the following should be taken for any type of real world behavior, but I remember watching an episode of Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” with a blind guy on it a couple of times. In one of the episodes, the blind guy was dating a butt-ugly woman, but was telling everyone she was a hot model. So, so far, there’s no way the blind guy was able to tell if the woman was cute or not. Then, later, when Larry David spilled the beans that she was aweful, the blind guy dumped her. So, even though he couldn’t see her, it was important to him!

(Finally Larry decided to hook up the blind guy with a muslim; he couldn’t see, she couldn’t be seen; perfect, right? Well, you just gotta see the show).

In The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells, the protagonist falls in love with a pretty girl that was deemed unattractive by her blind countrymen.

IANABP, but I’d imagine that skin complexion and hair texture would be very important to a blind person. Dandruff, oily hair, oily/sweaty skin, zits… unattractive.

And a blind person may prefer a toned, ahemperkyahem body like most of us do…

but, to a limited extent, a lot of what we consider attractive (healthy skin, healthy hair, toned body) may be deduced from touch… supple thighs, firm chest, and so on. The person could very well have an ugly face, but then again, very few men look above the neckline.

I’ve read this over a couple times, and I don’t see how complexion could be important to a person who couldn’t perceive it.
And men will “forgive” a lot for big eyes and a perky nose.
It’s those big feet we can’t stand. :wink:

Try closing your eyes and rubbing a smooth cheek and an acne-cratered one sometime. You don’t need to see to percieve.

why would a blind person prefer a smooth face rather than a bumpy one?

I see. I took “complexion” to mean color, as in “peach to rosy red”. Acne-cratered? My goodness!

I once knew a blind woman who touched my face, but she said she was merely curious how my face would feel different from hers. Her perceptions of people were based on their voices and the way they spoke to her and acted towards her. And just like anyone else, sometimes she would meet someone who she felt she “clicked” with and they were attractive to her based on that sympatico feeling, not on how they looked (obviously).

Cool. That’s pretty much how I thought it might be.
I was hoping for some direct input from a blind person or two, but after thinking about, I guess using the SDMB would be pretty difficult. Now I feel kind of dumb.

I had a friend in high school who was blind, and she said she identified people by voice and when she thought of them she thought of their voice the way sighted people might think of their faces. So I’d bet that for many blind people a sexy voice is more important than well-balanced features. However, my friend also said she imagined a face for people based on their voice and sometimes asked others to tell her what someone looked like. She had been legally blind since birth but that’s not at all the same as being totally blind. By the time I met her, her vision had deteriorated to the point where she could only perceive light and some movement, but she had some memories of what people’s faces were supposed to look like.

When talking about the blind it is important to remember that total blindness is fairly rare. My friend is now totally blind, but that’s only because both of her eyes eventually had to be removed due to medical complications. Many legally blind people can see colors and shapes, and may even be able to recognize people’s faces. There aren’t many people who have been totally blind since birth, so it’s difficult to make generalizations about how they perceive attractiveness.

It’s not dumb. My friend, who is blind, uses a computer. She has a special program called JAWS that reads everything to her,and allows her to navigate using the tab key. She types in whatever she wants and uses keyboard commands. The mouse is no good to her at all. She does word processing and e-mail and visits websites.

Well, most the oily/soft/dry distinction, but the point was clearer with a physical texture.

For that matter, why would anyone? I’m not certain it has to make sense.

Smooth skin represents youth and health. It is definitely a preferred sexual feature in a female, though a rougher, stubbly complexion may be desireable/attractive in a male.

Shut your eyes and rub your hands over a hairless part of your body, your stomach, say. Nice and smooth? Now imagine that it was bumpy and pitted and knobbled. Instantly the thought is not pleasant. Rash=disease/unhealth.

Of course, istara. I’m just not sure why shijinn felt that such attraction would be different for the blind than it is for the sighted.

Shoot, I’m trying to remember the name of a book/author and failing completely. So this is going to be a vague cite. There is a blind scientist who studies sea shells (worked at UCDavis and may still be there) who wrote a book about his life. He also said that he responded to people’s voices and was annoyed with people who though he’d be at all interested in trying to construct an image of anyone’s looks.

IANABP so i don’t know, hence the post being formed as a question. anyway, here goes my WAG:

i was thinking for the sighted, we have been conditioned by the media that angry red pimples and flawed skin complexion is a no-no. the difference between a smooth flawless face and a rough pimpled one is also visually great.

for the blind, i would think a smooth soft skin would be nice, but a pimpled face might also represent youth and health. the difference between a smooth skin and textured one wouldn’t be very great, after all a textured skin might represent more information and be more interesting to touch.

This is purely anecdotal, but a friend of mine related some snippets of conversations he had with a blind girl whose acquaintance he had recently made in a bar. They were talking about attractiveness, and such and she mentioned that what usually attracted her was the shape and feel of a person’s hands. Just keep in mind that physical attractivness can be defined by more than just a person’s face.