Attitudes Toward Workers and Toward their Work: More Evidence that Sex Makes a Difference

Joan A W Linsenmeier*, Camille B. Wortman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent study by Pheterson, Kiesler, and Goldberg (1971) has been cited many times as providing evidence that women underrate the work of other women. Close examination of their results, however, revealed a number of ambiguities. The present study modified and extended their design in an attempt to describe the nature of sex biases more clearly. Students read and responded to descriptions of seminars which they expected to have an opportunity to attend. Independent variables included sex of student, sex of seminar leader, and type of seminar topic (female‐oriented, male‐oriented, or neutral). Analysis of the results revealed an interaction of leader expertise, leader sex, and student sex on the major dependent measures. Women indeed underrated the accomplishments of other women relative to those of other men if the other's competence had not been demonstrated, while males' evaluations were not affected by the sex of the target person. Female college students … rated paintings attributed to male art contest entrants more favorably than the identical paintings attributed to female entrants. However, when the subjects were told that the artists had been awarded prizes, they rated men and women equally. The presumed sex of the artist had no bearing on the subjects' judgments in judging paintings represented as prize winners, but when the paintings were represented as show entries, the subjects rated them higher if they thought the artists were men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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