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Default Beautiful Women Face Discrimination in Certain Jobs, Study Finds - 08-08-2010, 12:48 AM

While many see no downside to being beautiful, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver Business School says attractive women face discrimination when it comes to landing certain kinds of jobs.

In a study released in the May/June Journal of Social Psychology, Stefanie Johnson, assistant professor of management at UC Denver Business School, found that beauty has an ugly side, at least for women.
Attractive women were discriminated against when applying for jobs considered "masculine" and for which appearance was not seen as important to the job. Such positions included job titles like manager of research and development, director of finance, mechanical engineer and construction supervisor.
"In these professions being attractive was highly detrimental to women," said Johnson. "In every other kind of job, attractive women were preferred. This wasn't the case with men which shows that there is still a double standard when it comes to gender."
The study, co-authored by Robert Dipboye, professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, Kenneth Podratz, an organizational development manager at UPS and Ellie Gibbons, research assistant at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, found that attractive men suffered no similar discrimination and were always at an advantage.
According to Johnson, beautiful people still enjoy a significant edge. They tend to get higher salaries, better performance evaluations, higher levels of admission to college, better voter ratings when running for public office and more favorable judgments in trials.
A recent Newsweek survey of 202 hiring managers and 964 members of the public concluded that looks matter in every aspect of the workplace and they mattered more for women. When asked to rate nine character attributes on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the most important, looks ranked third, above education and sense of humor, the magazine reported.
But in one narrow aspect of life, beauty can be a hindrance, something researchers have called the "beauty is beastly" effect.
"In two studies, we found that attractiveness is beneficial for men and women applying for most jobs, in terms of ratings of employment suitability," according to the study. "However, attractiveness was more beneficial for women applying for feminine sex-typed jobs than masculine sex-typed jobs."
In one experiment, participants were given a list of jobs and photos of applicants and told to sort them according to their suitability for the job. They had a stack of 55 male and 55 female photos.
In job categories like director of security, hardware salesperson, prison guard and tow truck driver, attractive women were overlooked. In each of these jobs appearance was perceived to be unimportant. Attractive women tended to be sorted into positions like receptionist or secretary.
"One could argue that, under certain conditions, physical appearance may be a legitimate basis for hiring," Johnson said. "In jobs involving face-to-face client contact, such as sales, more physically attractive applicants could conceivably perform better than those who are less attractive. However it is important that if physical attractiveness is weighed equally for men and women to avoid discrimination against women."
The study chided those who let stereotypes influence hiring decisions. Given the importance of hiring and the consequences of making a wrong choice, the authors said, managers need to rely more on information from the individual rather than on stereotypes about physical appearance.


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Default 08-08-2010, 01:05 AM

I guess i can relate to this... I am not implying that i am beautiful please don't get me wrong but my profession is considered very musculine and when i need my clients and they realize I am the one who is going to be the lead for their project, they first question my intelligence and capability. after speaking to me for a few minutes and realizing i know i am doing then their impression changes drastically. it is extremely tiring sometimes. whenever i enter a conference room and i am about to meet people that haven't met me before.. in the back of my mind i have this thought of having to prove myself every time... this gets to me.

plus for someone like me who looks younger than my age it is extremely hard to hold that ground firm and make my stand... I haven't really changed jobs alot so i don't know if i am every discriminated against by my employer but my clients definitely do it.
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Default 08-08-2010, 01:19 AM

I guess women are discriminated in almost each and every corner of the world but with varied degree. Women are not only discriminated in the masculine-kind jobs but also in fields such as science and engineering. For instance, salaries offered to the women scientists are meagre compared to the men of the same expertise (and I am referring to the West).So far physical attractivness in concerned, based on my personal observations, I would say attractive women generally do enjoy an edge over the unattractive ones in almost every walk of life. The reason being a lot of attention and consideration from men, and normally they are treated nicely than the unattractive ones,lol.


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Default 08-08-2010, 01:31 AM

Well, that's great news for the beautiful amongst us (I'm not referring to myself, thanks.)

Of course, one would hope that these "beautiful" women are taught to keep a raised chin and fight for the jobs they work hard for (ALONG with a salary as good as their male counterparts for the exact same job), so this wouldn't apply to the women who have both beauty and brain. If they got only beauty, of course life sucks for them academically, professionally, intellectually, etc. But beauty is not worth having unless it's coupled with brain, I tell ya.

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Default 08-08-2010, 01:46 AM

One should learn to enjoy catching people offguard. Such issues are over-rated.



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non commercial would cost less if he was in charge himself which he plans on doing. right now it's n herat but soon it will be in qanadahar.
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Default 08-08-2010, 02:11 AM

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Originally Posted by Sabrina View Post
gulalai khorey why would they get paid less in a field like science? We women do have a advantage thought weeasiky get hired in retail if we are pretty lol.
Sabrina, the issue of disparity between the income of men and women, often known as "gender pay gap", is pretty common not only in the Sciences but in almost all professions. I will focus on Sciences here. Traditionally, women are considered unintelligent and Science being considered a field of "intelligent brains" would show a unconscious, but an extensive bias towards women. Oftentimes, the scientific publications by women are under more scrutiny than the ones written by men. A number of research studies have found that the gender-based discrimination in the Scientific fields involve not only differential attitude towards women in terms of Salary range, but also includes discrimination in awards, resouces allocation for the reserach, grants, prizes, appreciation of research work etc.Furthermore, women who are single have advantage over those who bear children in scientific field, the latter being unable to dedicate 14+ hours in lab for research!!!Actually, I could recall this one research study published this year in which the salaries of women professors in life sciences/medicine were compared to men at the same seniority level (similar position,qualification, number of degrees and research publications, number of hours spent in research, etc).Any guesses for the difference?? The difference was freaking $13,000!!! It's just the conventional gender bias towards women which do get in way of the progress of women, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Unfortunately, it's not just the Scientific field where the women are discriminated but it is pretty ubiquitous in every field.Where it is difficult to discriminate women on the basis of "intelligence" (let's take example of science again, although intelligence is required in every field), men would introduce other biases like physical attractiveness or the absence of it (according to this article).Personally I have never experienced any sort of discrimination but I could never never deny its existence.


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Default 08-08-2010, 02:17 AM

Qrrate, just few weeks ago it was revealed to me through "reliable" sources that Blond girls have a "selective advantage" in med schools interviews over the non-blonde ones. I was shocked for a while. Then I thought about all blond jokes. They don't make sense to me anymore.LOL.

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Originally Posted by Qrratugai View Post
Well, that's great news for the beautiful amongst us (I'm not referring to myself, thanks.)

Of course, one would hope that these "beautiful" women are taught to keep a raised chin and fight for the jobs they work hard for (ALONG with a salary as good as their male counterparts for the exact same job), so this wouldn't apply to the women who have both beauty and brain. If they got only beauty, of course life sucks for them academically, professionally, intellectually, etc. But beauty is not worth having unless it's coupled with brain, I tell ya.


"O Pakhtuns!, Your house has fallen into ruin, let us rebuild it".
"I want to see my people educated and enlightened. A people with a vision and a strong sense of justice, who can carve out a future for themselves in harmony with nature".

Last edited by PFgulalai; 08-08-2010 at 09:06 PM.
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Default 08-08-2010, 07:00 PM

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Originally Posted by gulalai View Post
Sabrina, the issue of disparity between the income of men and women, often known as "gender pay gap", is pretty common not only in the Sciences but in almost all professions. I will focus on Sciences here. Traditionally, women are considered unintelligent and Science being considered a field of "intelligent brains" would show a unconscious, but an extensive bias towards women. Oftentimes, the scientific publications by women are under more scrutiny than the ones written by men. A number of research studies have found that the gender-based discrimination in the Scientific fields involve not only differential attitude towards women in terms of Salary range, but also includes discrimination in awards, resouces allocation for the reserach, grants, prizes, appreciation of research work etc.Furthermore, women who are single have advantage over those who bear children in scientific field, the latter being unable to dedicate 14+ hours in lab for research!!!Actually, I could recall this one research study published this year in which the salaries of women professors in life sciences/medicine were compared to men at the same seniority level (similar position,qualification, number of degrees and research publications, number of hours spent in research, etc).Any guesses for the difference?? The difference was freaking $13,000!!! It's just the conventional gender bias towards women which do get in way of the progress of women, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Unfortunately, it's not just the Scientific field where the women are discriminated but it is pretty ubiquitous in every field.Where it is difficult to discriminate women on the basis of "intelligence" (let's take example of science again, although intelligence is required in every field), men would introduce other biases like physical attractiveness or the absence of it (according to this article).Personally I have never experienced any sort of discrimination but I could never never deny its existence.
Great explanation, guley. This is true. I didn't get this stuff until about a year ago when I took a class called Sociology of Sex and Gender. Now everything makes sense.

One of the smartest ways they give women less pay than men is this:
The sort of jobs they intentionally assign to females give them lower income. For example, in retail stores, men tend to get the "behind-the-scene" jobs -- and so customers/visitors don't really get to see too many males working around. But they may see females. This is especially the case with toys shops, since it's considered too feminine for men to work with toys! So what do they do? They are the ones who make the toys, fix the toys, and do other things that require their being out of sight.

And, of course, since "fixing" things take more time and is a "better" and more "important" job than selling them or standing all day long at the register, men get a higher salary.

This way, those in charge get to tell you, "Well, you will get an equal salary if you know how to FIX toys."

And, in the U.S., females get 10% lower income than males for the exact same job.

I tell you all of this is a sad consequence of humans' lame attempts to "normalize" practices and beliefs, like claiming that women are "naturally" better cooks than men. This way, also, we push the women to stay at home because what's the point of having the same job as a man and you get a lower income?

Oh, and of course ... we also know that most men are insecure: If their wives earn more than they do, they feel inept, incompetent, inferior. But even many women don't like it when their husbands make less money than them, so that's one reason for men to feel inferior. But that's to say that society knows this about men, and so what happens is we make the women bring home less money than her husband so that he doesn't suffer from inferiority complex.

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Default 08-08-2010, 07:02 PM

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Originally Posted by gulalai View Post
Qrrate, just few weeks ago it was revealed to me through "reliable" sources that Blonde girls have a "selective advantage" in med schools interviews over the non-blonde ones. I was shocked for a while. Then I thought about all blonde jokes. They don't make sense to me anymore.LOL.
LOL. Same here.

But generally speaking, blond females are among the most intelligent I've ever met. It's nothing natural necessarily, however: They are given more opportunities, and it's just easier for them to succeed because the only discrimination they tend to face (today) is gender... unless they're in a school or company or environment dominated by another race.
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Default 08-08-2010, 10:05 PM

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Originally Posted by Qrratugai View Post

I tell you all of this is a sad consequence of humans' lame attempts to "normalize" practices and beliefs, like claiming that women are "naturally" better cooks than men. This way, also, we push the women to stay at home because what's the point of having the same job as a man and you get a lower income? .
You raise a really important point ("normalize") here, Qrra. It's the same like discouraging girls from choosing Mathematics/engineering fields and pushing them to take Teaching/Humanities. While I am not biased towards any field of study, but I am just concerned about the traditional bias exhibited towards women intelligence in hardcore sciences where the representation of the women is minimum.
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Originally Posted by Qrratugai View Post
Oh, and of course ... we also know that most men are insecure: If their wives earn more than they do, they feel inept, incompetent, inferior. But even many women don't like it when their husbands make less money than them, so that's one reason for men to feel inferior. But that's to say that society knows this about men, and so what happens is we make the women bring home less money than her husband so that he doesn't suffer from inferiority complex.
The female brains are conditioned since childhood for the male dominance and female subordination. I actually scripted a play about this issue..the husband is pissed off with his wife since she makes more money, lolz...I would say 99% men would cringe even at the thought of this situation whereas the rest 1% (which is still an impractical figure) would always receive taunts like "hahahaaa your wife makes more money" and so he will finally make her sit at home or will leave her (the former happened in one of my friend's case and the later happen in my play, lol).


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