The double standard of aging and the social situation: Judgments of attractiveness of the middle-aged woman
- 345 Downloads
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.
KeywordsSmall Group Social Psychology Social Condition Complex Interaction Female Subject
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Adams, G. R., & Huston, T. L. Social perception of middle-aged persons varying in physical attractiveness. Developmental Psychology, 1975, 11, 657–658.Google Scholar
- Cross, J. F., & Cross, J. Age, sex, race, and the perception of facial beauty. Developmental Psychology, 1971, 5, 433–439.Google Scholar
- Deaux, K. The behavior of women and men. Monteey, Calif.: Brooks Cole, 1976.Google Scholar
- Kopera, A. A., Maier, R. A., & Johnson, J. E. Perception of physical attractiveness: The influence of group interaction and group coaction on ratings of the attractiveness of photographs of women. Proceedings of the 79th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, 1971, pp. 317–318. (Summary)Google Scholar
- Piliavin, J. A., & Martin, R. R. The effects of the sex composition of groups on style of social interaction. Sex Roles, 1978, 4, 281–296.Google Scholar
- Shomer, R. W., & Centers, R. Differences in attitudinal responses under conditions of implicitly manipulated group salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, 15, 125–132.Google Scholar
- Williams, J. H. Psychology of women: Behavior in a biosocial context. New York: Norton, 1977.Google Scholar