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Fraternal Bonding in the Locker Room: a Profeminist Analysis of Talk About Competition and Women

Title: Fraternal Bonding in the Locker Room: a Profeminist Analysis of Talk About Competition and Women

Link: pdf

Summary:

Analyzes locker-room conversations to determine origins of sexism in male-bonding conversations.

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Linking Stereotype Threat and Anxiety

Title: Linking Stereotype Threat and Anxiety

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01443410601069929

Summary: (abstract)

Claude Steele’s stereotype threat hypothesis has attracted significant attention in recent years. This study tested one of the main tenets of his theory—that stereotype threat serves to increase individual anxiety levels, thus hurting performance—using real‐time measures of physiological arousal. Subjects were randomly assigned to either high or low stereotype threat conditions involving a challenging mathematics task while physiological measures of arousal were recorded. Results showed significant physiological reactance (skin conductance, skin temperature, blood pressure) as a function of a stereotype threat manipulation. These findings are consistent with the argument that stereotype threat manipulations either increase or decrease situational‐specific anxiety, and hold significant implications for thinking about fair assessment and testing practices in academic settings.

From Agents to Objects: Sexist Attitudes and Neural Responses to Sexualized Targets

Title: From Agents to Objects: Sexist Attitudes and Neural Responses to Sexualized Targets

Link: pdf

Summary: (abstract)

Agency attribution is a hallmark of mind perception; thus, diminished attributions of agency may disrupt social–cognition processes typically elicited by human targets. The current studies examine the effect of perceiversʼ sexist attitudes on associations of agency with, and neural responses to, images of sexualized and clothed men and women. In Study 1, male ( but not female) participants with higher hostile sexism scores more quickly associated sexualized women with first-person action verbs (“handle”) and clothed women with third-person action verbs (“handles”) than the inverse, as compared to their less sexist peers. In Study 2, hostile sexism correlated negatively with activation of regions associated with mental state attribution—medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, temporal poles—but only when viewing sexualized women. Heterosexual men best recognized images of sexualized female bodies ( but not faces), as compared with other targetsʼ bodies; however, neither face nor body recognition was related to hostile sexism, suggesting that the fMRI findings are not explained by more or less attention to sexualized female targets. Diminished mental state attribution is not unique to targets that people prefer to avoid, as in dehumanization of stigmatized people. The current studies demonstrate that appetitive social targets may elicit a similar response depending on perceiversʼ attitudes toward them.

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.

From “In the Air” to “Under the Skin”: Cortisol Responses to Social Identity Threat

Title: From “In the Air” to “Under the Skin”: Cortisol Responses to Social Identity Threat

Link: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/37/2/151.abstract

Summary: (abstract)

The authors examined women’s neuroendocrine stress responses associated with sexism. They predicted that, when being evaluated by a man, women who chronically perceive more sexism would experience more stress unless the situation contained overt cues that sexism would not occur. The authors measured stress as the end product of the primary stress system linked to social evaluative threat—the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal cortical axis. In Study 1, female participants were rejected by a male confederate in favor of another male for sexist reasons or in favor of another female for merit-based reasons. In Study 2, female participants interacted with a male confederate who they learned held sexist attitudes or whose attitudes were unknown. Participants with higher chronic perceptions of sexism had higher cortisol, unless the situation contained cues that sexism was not possible. These results illustrate the powerful interactive effects of chronic perceptions of sexism and situational cues on women’s stress reactivity.