Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Department

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Judith LeMaster

Reader 2

Susan Castagnetto

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Emily R. Lindburg

Abstract

This study examined relationships between facial appearance, gender-linked traits, and feminist stereotypes. Naïve college students rated traits based on facial appearance of female CEO's whose companies appeared in the Forbes 1000 list. The photos of each female CEO (n=35) were randomly combined with two descriptive identifiers; an occupation (n=9) and an interest area (n=9), including 'feminist'. Participants then rated the head shots of the CEO's on a 7 point Likert scale of communal (expected feminine) traits like attractiveness, warmth, compassion and cooperativeness, and on agentic (expected masculine) traits like ambition, leadership ability and intelligence. If college students hold negative stereotypes of feminists, feminist identified women are expected to be rated lower on levels of attractiveness, warmth, compassion and cooperativeness, but higher in leadership ability, ambition, and intelligence. Results demonstrated that participants did not hold negative stereotypes of feminists as they rated them similarly to environmentalists, progressives, and liberals. Results demonstrated that participants held negative stereotypes about conservatives and republicans.