Cognitive accessibility of sex role concepts and attitudes toward political participation: The impact of sexist advertisements


Women who were exposed to advertisements that portrayed women in their traditional role as homemakers reported less favorable attitudes toward political participation than women who were not exposed to advertisements. Exposure to portrayals of women as sex objects, on the other hand, did not affect women's attitudes. In contrast, men reported less favorable attitudes toward political participation after exposure to advertisements that portrayed women as sex objects, but were not affected by portrayals of women as homemakers. Implications for the influence of sex roles on political participation and the impact of sexist advertisements are discussed.

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Correspondence to Norbert Schwarz.

Additional information

The reported research was conducted as part of an undergraduate research seminar directed by the first author, and preparation of the report was supported by a Feodor Lynen Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung to the first author. We want to thank R.S. Wyer, Jr. and G. Bishop for their valuable comments on a previous draft.

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Schwarz, N., Wagner, D., Bannert, M. et al. Cognitive accessibility of sex role concepts and attitudes toward political participation: The impact of sexist advertisements. Sex Roles 17, 593–601 (1987).

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  • Social Psychology
  • Political Participation
  • Favorable Attitude
  • Traditional Role
  • Role Concept