Odd occupation: effects of counter-stereotypical images on sexist beliefs

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The advertising industry plays a crucial role in how ideals and norms are established in United States society. Recent work is revealing the negative impact advertisements can have on

The advertising industry plays a crucial role in how ideals and norms are established in United States society. Recent work is revealing the negative impact advertisements can have on self-esteem and self-image, especially for women. Unrealistic body-types, often created through photo editing, continue to contribute to eating and emotional disorders. Such fabricated ideals hinder the progress of social and economic justice for women. This exploratory study investigates whether images of women in traditionally male-dominated roles can weaken sexist attitudes and whether less sexism and highly sexist groups differ in image processing. Participants who scored high or low on the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory were exposed to a set of images of females in the female-dominated occupation of waitress and females in the male-dominated occupation of construction while measuring their neural activity using EEG. Participants complete the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory before and after the experiment. P3 oddball effects are measured for each participant with the hypothesis that the High Sexism group will view female construction workers with a higher oddball effect than the low sexism group. With 38 participants, there is a significant difference between the groups with individuals scoring low on the ASI showing a greater difference between the waitress and construction worker images compared to individuals scoring high on the ASI. Further, exposure to these images did not significantly reduce ASI scores in either group.