Sexualize one, objectify all? The sexualization spillover effect on female job candidates

Laura Guillén, Maria Kakarika, Nathan Heflick

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Resum

We examined whether sexualizing a businesswoman impacts attitudes toward subsequently evaluated, nonsexualized females applying for a corporate managerial position. Research shows that sexualized women are perceived as less warm and competent (i.e., objectified). Integrating this work with research on social cognition, we hypothesized that the negative effect of sexualization “spills over” onto other nonsexualized women, reducing their hireability. Across two experiments, initially sexualized women were perceived as less warm and competent, as were subsequently evaluated nonsexualized female job candidates. In turn, these negative perceptions reduced the applicants' probability of being hired. Sexualization of women also increased intentions to hire a subsequently evaluated male candidate. The results were robust when we controlled for evaluators' gender and age. Our findings demonstrate that female job applicants can experience detrimental effects from sexually based objectification, even when they are not the individuals initially sexualized. We discuss implications for women's careers.

Idioma originalAnglès
Nombre de pàgines19
RevistaJournal of Organizational Behavior
Data online anticipadade nov. 2023
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicació electrònica prèvia a la impressió - de nov. 2023

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