Do Stereotypically Male/Female Jobs Alter Perceptions on Attractiveness?

Sherry Stauffer

Abstract


This study evaluated perceptions of attractiveness for people who hold jobs that are in opposition to what is typical for their gender. Based on previous research, the current study hypothesized the following: a) Men will perceive attractive and average-looking men with atypical jobs to be significantly less attractive than they would be perceived if they held a typically male job; b)Women will perceive attractive and average-looking men with atypical jobs to be less attractive than they would be perceived if they held a typically male job, but they will find them more attractive than men would find them; c)Women will perceive attractive women with atypical jobs to be less attractive than they would be perceived if they held a typically female job, but there will be no significant change in attractiveness levels of average-looking women who hold atypical jobs; d)Men will perceive both attractive and average-looking women with atypical jobs as less attractive than they would be perceived if they held a typically female job. Utilizing a survey with three variations (photos with no job descriptions, photos with typical job descriptions, and photos with atypical job descriptions) levels of attractiveness were measured on a 9-point Likert scale. The participant group (n=126) was 67% female and 33% male with an average age of 43.9 years. The results of the study did not support any of the four hypotheses in that there were no significant differences in attractiveness levels due to job types. Additional findings resulted in significant differences in attractiveness levels of the photos within-subjects, F(3, 360)=176.842, p < .001, and significant differences in how men and women rated the photos between-subjects, F(1,120)=12.434, p=.001. In addition, between-subjects, men significantly rated the levels of attractiveness lower than women. Within-subjects however, there were no other significant findings. Results suggest that there is no correlation between the type of job a person holds and level of perceived attractiveness, however, previous research indicates that people who go against their gender norms are definitely perceived differently.


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ISSN: 2325-0917