Monday, August 2, 2010

Women prefer macho men, really

Sorry, if you are not stockily built with dashing biceps and large chest to flaunt. We have no problem with that but a recent study says that women are attracted to macho men and see modesty as a sign of evolutionary weakness.

So far so, modesty in males is a big turn off for fair sex. Corinne A Moss-Racusin, a doctoral candidate in Rutgers' Department of Psychology, explored the consequences for men (and women) when they acted modestly in job interviews. This study has not many takers in India as the likes of Shashi Tharoor, Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and many other stars without great figure are still loved and adored by millions of women.

Modesty was viewed as a sign of weakness, a low-status character trait for males that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential.

However, in women, modesty was not viewed negatively nor was it linked to status."For men and women, there are things they must and must not be. Women must be communal and other-oriented, but they must not be dominant. Historically and cross-culturally, men have been stereotyped as more agentic, that is, more independent and self-focused than women," Moss-Racusin said.

In the study, 132 female and 100 male student volunteers (who earned partial academic credit for their psychology course) viewed videotaped, 15-minute job interviews of either males or females.

All the applicants were paid actors rehearsed to deliver similar, "modest" responses for the gender-neutral position that required strong technical abilities and social skills.

The researchers sought to determine which gender stereotype promote backlash.

The researchers' prediction that modest male applicants would face hiring discrimination was not supported, however, and she speculates that because men's status is higher than women's, meek men are afforded the benefit of the doubt and are less likely to encounter hiring discrimination than dominant women.The study was published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.


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