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Sex Roles

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 87–96 | Cite as

The double standard of aging and the social situation: Judgments of attractiveness of the middle-aged woman

  • Phyllis W. Berman
  • Barbara A. O'Nan
  • Wayne Floyd
Article

Abstract

Two hundred male and 200 female undergraduates judged pictures of middle-aged women and middle-aged men for their “immediate emotional appeal.” Pictures had been selected to be of middle attractiveness and to represent individuals who appeared to be between 35 and 55 years old. Subjects made judgments under one of the following social conditions: in private, or in small groups which were all male, all female, or half male and half female. Social condition and subjects' sex affected judgments significantly, and there were some significant complex interactions between these two variables and the sex of the stimulus picture. Male and female subjects privately judged middle-aged women to be more attractive than middle-aged men, but the effect was reversed when judgments were made publicly in groups. As predicted, members of all-male groups judged middle-aged women to be considerably less attractive than middle-aged men. Members of all-female groups, and both the men and the women in mixed-sex groups, judged middle-aged women to be only slightly less attractive than middle-aged men.

Keywords

Small Group Social Psychology Social Condition Complex Interaction Female Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis W. Berman
    • 1
  • Barbara A. O'Nan
    • 1
  • Wayne Floyd
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityUSA

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