Women 'view modesty as sign of weakness'
Published 03/08/2010 | 15:08
Women are attracted to macho men and see modesty as a sign of evolutionary weakness, a study has shown.
Research suggested that females have found the rise of the “more feminine man”, or “metrosexual”, a big turn-off.
Women see modesty amonsgt men as a poor character trait that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential.
The study of 132 female and 100 male student volunteers found, however, that men did not view female modesty negatively.
The participants viewed footage of 15-minute job interviews of males and female actors delivering similar responses to questions for the position that required social skills.
The applicants were judged to be equally competent for the role but the “modest” males were less liked, results published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity showed.
Corinne Moss-Racusin, a psychologist who led the study, said: “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 independent and self-focused than women. Women are allowed to be weak while this trait is strongly prohibited in men.
“By contrast, dominance is reserved for men and prohibited for women. Thus, gender stereotypes are comprised of four sets of rules and expectations for behaviour consist of both 'should’ and 'should nots’ for each gender.”
Researchers dismissed, however, suggestions that modest male applicants would have greater difficulty in finding jobs.
Miss Moss-Racusin, of Rutgers University, New Jersey, said she believed that men had a higher status in society than women which meant meek males were afforded the benefit of the doubt over dominant females.