Both women and men stereotyped by revealing clothing

As temperatures begin to drop on campus, ASU must bid farewell to the bro tanks and teeny denim shorts that we love so dearly and throw on some warm hoodies and jeans.

Although we are sad to put away summer clothing for now, the extra layers could make a difference in the way others perceive you, according to new research.

Led by University of Maryland psychologist Kurt Gray, the study found that both men and women should dress conservatively in order to appear to have a higher mental capability. People wearing less clothing are perceived to be more emotional and vulnerable.

According to The Huffington Post, the researchers involved used six studies to come to their conclusions, including one that featured shirtless men against fully clothed men who were subjected to electrical shocks. The studies found that the men sans shirts were less likely to be shocked by participants, displaying the idea that less clothing means less likely to be harmed.

Breaking down the myth that only women are stereotyped by their clothing choices is a radical idea. For my entire life I’ve always heard peers and adults gossip about what so and so is wearing, typically a woman, and never realized that it could be a similar situation for men.

The study also found that objectification goes both ways: Men judge women and women judge men based on their appearances. However, the objectification found by Gray and his team was not simply turning a person into a simple object.

In reality, we think of the person, “as primarily an emotional, sensual being, rather than a primarily rational one,” according to The Huffington Post.

This finding could alter the way we discuss media values and society in general. Although no study is entirely conclusive in its findings, the results Gray published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology are a game-changer. They will be forever used to debunk complaints of sexual objectification by men, as well as the issue that women who dress provocatively are asking to be assaulted.

These myths that our culture has stood by for decades are untrue in modern society. It is possible that there was a time when women were the only ones with the burden of dressing conservatively to appease employers, but now it is important for both sexes to realize the message they are sending with their clothing, or lack thereof.

Even at ASU, professors and peers can judge students by their way of dress. Of course, a college classroom is much more casual than an office, but it is important to present yourself in the way you want others to perceive you.

Are you emotional and reactive or capable of performing difficult mental tasks?

You decide.

 

Reach the columnist at tafergu1@asu.edu Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.


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