Title: Impressions of people with gender-ambiguous male or female first names.
Undergraduates (12 men, 12 women) read a scenario in which they formed an impression of nine people who had left their first name on an answering machine. Participants rated the extent to which seven characteristics (Ethical, Caring, Popular, Cheerful, Successful, Masculine, Feminine) applied to people whose first names were gender-ambiguous (e.g., Chris), male (e.g., Ken) or female (e.g., Pam). People with gender-ambiguous names were rated less Ethical than those with female names, and people with gender-ambiguous names and male names were rated less Caring, less Cheerful, and less Feminine than those with female names. These results are consistent with the idea that there is a bias towards assuming that a person of unspecified sex is a male.
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
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.
Title: Attitudes Toward Women’s Body Hair: Relationship with Disgust Sensitivity
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.
Title: The effects of women’s cosmetics on men’s approach
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.