Poster Number

055

Session Title

Gender, Ethnicity, and Bias

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Description

The study examined young adults’ perceptions of a man, varying his appearance and labeling him with different occupations. Participants were 116 adults with a mean age of 19.90 (SD = 5.20). The majority were women (76%), Caucasian (53%), and heterosexual (71%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a picture of a man labeled as either a doctor or barista and the same man wearing make-up labeled as a doctor or barista. Participants rated how accurately a list of masculine and feminine traits matched the picture, and responded to scales to assess their need to belong, self-esteem, and attitudes toward transgender individuals. Need to belong, self-esteem, race, and gender did not predict perceptions of the pictures. Conformity and occupation did not interact. The stated occupation was minimally influential in driving perceptions; the doctor was viewed as having more feminine behavior, which might reflect the fact that doctors help people, which is considered stereotypically feminine. The appearance of gender non-conformity drove perceptions more than did the race, gender, self-esteem, and social needs of the viewer. The non-gender conforming individual was seen as having masculine and feminine behaviors, which matched his appearance. Adults also viewed the gender-discordant individual as more capable at his job, regardless of his occupation. Adults may have seen the flexibility in appearance as a sign that he would be a flexible colleague, or perhaps our participants, who were generally positive toward transgender individuals, were showing support for a person they believed to be transgender.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2020; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Young Adults’ Perceptions of Non-Gender Conformity Across Occupations

The study examined young adults’ perceptions of a man, varying his appearance and labeling him with different occupations. Participants were 116 adults with a mean age of 19.90 (SD = 5.20). The majority were women (76%), Caucasian (53%), and heterosexual (71%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a picture of a man labeled as either a doctor or barista and the same man wearing make-up labeled as a doctor or barista. Participants rated how accurately a list of masculine and feminine traits matched the picture, and responded to scales to assess their need to belong, self-esteem, and attitudes toward transgender individuals. Need to belong, self-esteem, race, and gender did not predict perceptions of the pictures. Conformity and occupation did not interact. The stated occupation was minimally influential in driving perceptions; the doctor was viewed as having more feminine behavior, which might reflect the fact that doctors help people, which is considered stereotypically feminine. The appearance of gender non-conformity drove perceptions more than did the race, gender, self-esteem, and social needs of the viewer. The non-gender conforming individual was seen as having masculine and feminine behaviors, which matched his appearance. Adults also viewed the gender-discordant individual as more capable at his job, regardless of his occupation. Adults may have seen the flexibility in appearance as a sign that he would be a flexible colleague, or perhaps our participants, who were generally positive toward transgender individuals, were showing support for a person they believed to be transgender.

 

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