Healthcare workers pick the hottest profession

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How has a global pandemic affected our perception of attractiveness as a society?

We know online dating usage surged from late 2019 to 2022 as lockdowns and isolation imposed a global tax on loneliness on nearly everyone.

Meanwhile, our screens were flooded with healthcare workers bravely putting themselves on the front lines as the vast majority of us cheered them on from the safety of our homes.

A decade ago, a trophy model or a dashing firefighter was perhaps many Australians’ best guess for choosing the country’s hottest profession.

However, according to a recent eHarmony study, lots of toned abs were traded in for a set of scrubs and a caring, positive attitude.

Nurses have been voted the most attractive profession according to Australian men, beating models, flight attendants, teachers and, interestingly, doctors to fifth.

Meanwhile, Australian women voted ‘doctor’ as the most attractive profession, followed by commerce, firefighter, engineer and lawyer.

Has COVID-19 made us feverish for partners who can take care of us?

Sharon Draper, psychologist at eHarmony, says, “We usually associate traits with certain careers; nurses are caring, lawyers are strong willed and so on.

“We then use these traits to make judgments about a potential mate and our compatibility with them.”

According to the research, around four in 10 Australians (42%) agree that someone’s job can influence their attractiveness.

It doesn’t end there, however; more than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents admitted to wondering if a particular job might give their own perceived hotness a boost when applying for a new role.

“Not only does someone’s job tell you about their personality, it also tells us about the compatibility of your lives together,” Ms Draper says.

“An aspect of a person’s life does not define them but acts as a puzzle piece that may or may not match our image of our future lives.”

Perhaps that’s why 59% of Australians ask on a first date what they do for a living, while a third (34%) say they don’t care what wins over their potential mate.

At least one in 10 openly say that the lowest income they would consider acceptable for a potential partner is over $110,000.

This is a significantly higher standard than the national median personal income of just under $42,000 according to the 2021 census.

And, although it was said that all frontline workers were celebrated during the height of the pandemic, even going so far as to commemorate them together on a $2 coin, some were more revered than others, and the Australian dating landscape proves it.

While doctors and nurses topped our lists, the eHarmony study also polled which professions Australian men and women found the least appealing – the results were eye-opening.

Cleaners and truck drivers were among the five least attractive professions, according to Australian men and women, despite both professions being exceedingly crucial to our society’s resilience to the pandemic.

Of course, those brave hospital workers shown on the news (and Grey’s Anatomy) may have had some influence, but let’s not pretend it’s any less admirable to maintain supply chains when everyone’s been ordered to stay put, or tackle head-on the contamination that puts us all at risk.

Dear Aussies: Next time you’re browsing the dating apps or asking this cutie what she does for a living, remember: Not all heroes wear scrubs.

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