• children;
  • peers;
  • perceptions;
  • spectacles


Purpose:  Previous studies have examined how people feel about others who wear glasses, but no studies of children have been published on the subject. We conducted the Children’s Attitudes about Kids in Eyeglasses (CAKE) study to determine how children feel about other children who wear glasses.

Methods:  Subjects compared a series of 24 picture pairs and answered six questions regarding which child …he or she would rather play with, looks better at playing sports, appears smarter (more intelligent), appears nicer, looks more shy and looks more honest. The children in each pair of pictures differed by gender, ethnicity and spectacle wear. Logistic regression was performed to determine the probability and confidence interval that a subject would pick a particular child.

Results:  Eighty subjects between the ages of 6 and 10 years participated. The average (±SD) age of the subjects was 8.3 ± 1.3 years, 42 (53%) were females, 51 (64%) were whites, 21 (26%) were blacks, and 30 (38%) wore glasses. The spectacle wearer appeared smarter (0.66, CI = 0.60–0.71) and more honest (0.57, CI = 0.50–0.64), and children who wore glasses looked smarter regardless of whether the child picking wore glasses. Both boys (0.66, CI = 0.68–0.79) and girls (0.77, CI = 0.71–0.82) thought that boys looked better at playing sports.

Discussion:  The old adage ‘Boys never make passes at lasses who wear glasses’ may be outmoded, but glasses may tend to make children look smarter and slightly more honest to their peers.