Archive | Femininity RSS for this section

Self-Subjugation Among Women: Exposure to Sexist Ideology, Self-Objectification, and the Protective Function of the Need to Avoid Closure

Title: Self-Subjugation Among Women: Exposure to Sexist Ideology, Self-Objectification, and the Protective Function of the Need to Avoid Closure

Link: pdf

Summary: (abstract)

Despite extensive evidence confirming the negative consequences of self-objectification, direct experimental evidence concerning its environmental antecedents is scarce. Incidental exposure to sexist cues was employed in 3 experiments to investigate its effect on self-objectification variables. Consistent with system justification theory, exposure to benevolent and complementary forms of sexism, but not hostile or no sexism, increased state self-objectification, self-surveillance, and body shame among women but not men in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, we replicated these effects and demonstrated that they are specific to self-objectification and not due to a more general self-focus. In addition, following exposure to benevolent sexism only, women planned more future behaviors pertaining to appearance management than did men; this effect was mediated by self-surveillance and body shame. Experiment 3 revealed that the need to avoid closure might afford women some protection against self-objectification in the context of sexist ideology.

Advertisements

The Hairlessness Norm Extended: Reasons for and Predictors of Women’s Body Hair Removal at Different Body Sites

Title:  The Hairlessness Norm Extended: Reasons for and Predictors of Women’s Body Hair Removal at Different Body Sites

Link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/jl7rk8m44k78lg1g/

Summary: (abstract)

The study aimed to explore the motivations behind and predictors of the practice of body hair removal among women. A sample of 235 Australian female undergraduate students completed questionnaires asking about the frequency and reasons for body hair removal, as well as measures of media exposure. It was confirmed that the vast majority (approximately 96%) regularly remove their leg and underarm hair, most frequently by shaving, and attribute this to femininity and attractiveness reasons. A sizeable proportion (60%) also removed at least some of their pubic hair, with 48% removing most or all of it. Here the attributions were relatively more to sexual attractiveness and self-enhancement. Further, having a partner and exposure to particular forms of media predicted pubic hair removal. It was concluded that pubic hair removal is currently different in connotation from leg or underarm hair, but is likely to be on the increase. It can only further the belief that women’s bodies are unacceptable the way they are.

Attitudes Toward Women’s Body Hair: Relationship with Disgust Sensitivity

Title: Attitudes Toward Women’s Body Hair: Relationship with Disgust Sensitivity

Link: http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/28/4/381.short

Summary:

We aimed to further investigate the “hairlessness” norm that is the common practice of body hair removal among women. A sample of 198 undergraduate students (91 men, 107 women) completed questionnaires asking about attitudes toward women’s body hair and the reasons women remove this hair, as well as a measure of disgust sensitivity. It was found that the vast majority (98%) of female participants regularly remove their leg and/or underarm hair, most frequently by shaving, and attribute this to femininity and attractiveness reasons. However, the attributions that they and men made for other women were much more socially normative in nature. For the sample as a whole, negative attitudes toward body hair were related to disgust sensitivity. It was concluded that body hair on women, but not on men, has become an elicitor of disgust and its removal correspondingly normative.

Gender role and attitudes toward rape in male and female college students

Title: Gender role and attitudes toward rape in male and female college students

Link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/q2148372h4vk0170/

Summary: (abstract)

This study examined the relationship between college students’ gender roles and attitudes toward rape. Subjects were 145 male and 374 female college students with a mean age of 20.1 years. The institution has a 12.5% minority population. Subjects received a questionnaire packet containing the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), an acquaintance or stranger rape scenario, a questionnaire designed to assess attitudes toward the scenario, the short version of the Attitudes Towards Women Scale (AWS), the Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (RMAS), and the Attitudes Toward Rape questionnaire (ATR). It was hypothesized that participants classified as masculine according to the BSRI would believe in more rape myths, hold more pro-rape attitudes, and believe in more traditional gender roles than would those who were classified as feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. A gender by gender role interaction on the AWS revealed that feminine and androgynous men were exceptions to the pattern that men had significantly less egalitarian views than women. Responses to the scenario questionnaire suggested that women and men view acquaintance rape differently, and that men may experience more attitude change as a result of a rape awareness workshop than women.

The effects of women’s cosmetics on men’s approach

Title: The effects of women’s cosmetics on men’s approach

Link: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6894/is_1_10/ai_n28518814/?tag=content;col1

Summary:

The predictions were supported by the results of this experiment. Makeup of the female-confederates was associated with higher male contact and a shorter latency for the first contact. These results obtained in a real social setting were congruent with the data obtained from studies on impression formation conducted in the laboratory (Cash, Dawson, Davis, Bowen & Galumbeck, 1989; Cox & Glick, 1986; Graham & Jouhar, 1981; Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Leveque and Pineau, 2006; Mulhern, Fieldman, Hussey, Leveque & Pineau, 2003; Workman & Johnson, 1991). These results seem to show that the positive effects of make-up on ratings of physical or social attractiveness found in the studies cited here translate to more overt behaviors of males.

One might ask why cosmetic use is associated with courtship behavior. Perhaps the effect of makeup is not to enhance physical attractiveness per se, but to serve as a cue to males that “this female might be available.” McKeachie (1952) reported data indicating that young women were evaluated by young male students as more frivolous and more interested in the opposite sex when wearing makeup than when not.