Track 8: Personality Processes & Individual Differences
Anne-Sophie Chaxel (HEC Paris)

8A. Gender Effects

Saturday, March 5
9:30am – 11:00am EST
Discussant: Susan Dobscha (Bentley University)
MC: Alican Mecit (SKEMA Business School)
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Student Coordinator: Michelle Wang (Cornell University) (

Competitive Papers

Real Men Don’t Rent: Acquisition Mode and Masculinity Perception
Authors: Yang Guo (University of Pittsburgh), Shaobo Li (Southern University of Science and Technology), Cait Lamberton (University of Pennsylvania), Aleksandra Kovacheva (University at Albany, SUNY)
Presenting Author: Yang Guo (University of Pittsburgh)
Despite the benefits of access-based consumption, it remains surprisingly unpopular among men. We report five studies exploring a reason why this may be. We find that accessing (vs. owning) products (i.e., furniture, vehicle, clothes) has a robust negative effect on others’ (but not one’s own) perceived masculinity. Further, people more readily recommend access-based services to friends they perceive as less masculine, whereas they are more likely to recommend ownership to friends they see as highly masculine. Current studies seek to supplement acquisition mode with other means of masculinity-signaling and to promote perspective-taking, such that this evaluation tendency can be weakened.
Man Up! The Mental Wellness-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Men’s Pursuit of Mental Wellness
Authors: Jaewoo Lee (Boston University), Remi Trudel (Boston University)
Presenting Author: Jaewoo Lee (Boston University)
Taking care of our mental wellness is vitally important. In this research, we show that men are less likely than women to purchase and use mental wellness products. We propose that it stems from a prevalent stereotype that mental wellness products and activities are feminine. We show that people who engage in mental wellness activities are stereotyped by others as more feminine and even perceive themselves as more feminine. Because men tend to be more concerned with gender-identity maintenance than women, men are motivated to avoid mental wellness activities to preserve a masculine image.
Voice of Leadership: The Role of Vocal Characteristics as Indicators of CEO Promotion
Authors: Kimberly Hyun (Georgia Institute of Technology), Michael Lowe (Georgia Institute of Technology), Aradhna Krishna (University of Michigan)
Presenting Author: Kimberly Hyun (Georgia Institute of Technology)
This research explores the role that vocal characteristics (richness of the voice as depicted through voice timbre) play on perceived leadership capabilities. We present a systematic analysis of how voice may affect career path, utilizing data regarding Fortune 500 CEOs, including clips of interview audio to extract vocal features. We quantify an objective measure of vocal timbre (or voice richness) using MFCCs to capture detailed data regarding patterns of overtones in CEO voices. An examination of these overtones as quantified by the MFCCs reveals that, all else equal, individuals with deeper voices and richer overtones in their mid-vocal frequencies are more quickly promoted to leadership roles (CEO) within their company. In addition to the model, a lab experiment provides further evidence that rich vocal timbres are related to perceptions of leadership potential, and may play a role in actual promotion decisions.
The Adverse Role of Heterosexual Standards in Male Dyadic Consumption Sharing
Authors: Sherrie Xue (INSEAD), Stephanie Lin (INSEAD), Christilene du Plessis (Singapore Management University)
Presenting Author: Sherrie Xue (INSEAD)
Although social acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has improved, self-identified men may maintain an internalized gender norm to behave in ways that convey unambiguous heterosexuality. We theorize that male consumers feel uncomfortable violating heterosexual norms, affecting the way they consume. Seven studies provide evidence for this effect among men and show that it is deeply internalized, persisting in public and private settings. Moreover, this effect is mitigated when anticipated heterosexual norm violation is alleviated (e.g., when sharing with an opposite-gender partner or consuming in an unromantic situation), and is exacerbated when such concerns are heightened (e.g., when sharing romantic food).

Flash Talks

Gender and Savings: Experimental Evidence From India
Authors: Nirajana Mishra (Boston University), Deepak Saraswat (University of Connecticut)
Presenting Author: Nirajana Mishra (Boston University)
In a randomized control trial across 72 schools and 1403 children in India, we find that a financial education program that integrated social modules as a part of the program was more effective in motivating girls to save than boys. We suggest that the program's social modules could have significantly impacted girls who adopt a broader perspective of thinking of others in the household rather than just themselves. Past research on financial education programs for adolescents often had mixed effects. Our findings provide evidence that in a world where most financial products and services are gender agnostic, financial training programs could be made more effective for females by focusing on the gender of the consumer, such as integrating social modules focusing on the communal orientation of females.
Justification Cues in Donation Choices – The Case of Culture and Gender
Authors: Danit Ein-Gar (Tel-Aviv University), Jingjing Ma (Peking University), Liat Levontin (Israel Institute of Technology), Tehila Kogut (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Presenting Author: Danit Ein-Gar (Tel-Aviv University)
When donors need to choose between two needy recipients, they tend to opt-out from choosing, due to a moral conflict between their motivation to help and the inability to do so fairly. We show that relying on peripheral information to justify choice decreases donors’ opt-out rates. We test gender as one such peripheral cue and show that in western culture (US), participants chose to help a girl over a boy, in support of the western stereotype that women are needier than men. In an eastern culture (Chinese), the effect reversed, in support of the male favoritism in eastern societies.


Women Identification to a Feminine Archetype and Perceived Ethicality of Sexy Ads
Authors: Gwarlann de Kerviler (IESEG School of Management), Barbara Slavich (IESEG School of Management), Caroline Ardelet (Paris Fashion Institute - Hesam University)
Presenting Author: Gwarlann de Kerviler (IESEG School of Management)
Women may react differently to sexualized female representations in advertising. Some may regard sexual imagery as a sign of objectification but others may perceive it as empowering. Past research has not clearly established which mechanism may explain these varying reactions. This research identifies new factors to better understand why some women perceive a higher degree of ethicality in sexualized ads than others. We test our assumption across four studies with more than 500 female respondents in the United States and France. Findings validate that women identifying with a Lover archetype of femininity perceive less male dominance in advertising, and in turn have a higher ethical judgment, in comparison to women identifying with a Hero or an Explorer archetype. Moreover, findings show that women with high self-esteem or preferring intense color make-up are less influenced by this perceived male dominance.
Does Your Alexa’s Gender Matter? The Impact of Voice Control Device Gender on Product Evaluation
Authors: Ksenia Sergueeva (Drexel University), Chen Wang (Drexel University)
Presenting Author: Ksenia Sergueeva (Drexel University)
Across three studies, we investigate whether, how, and why the gender of the voice control device influences consumer evaluation when it fails to comprehend. Results show that the male (vs. female) device is rated higher in the event of a comprehension failure. Such effect is mediated by the perceived comprehension ability of the device. Furthermore, we show that the task expertise moderates the effect; when the request is in a female-expertized task, the female (vs. male) device is rated higher.
Don't Eat Me: The Moderating Role of Gender on the Effect of Anthropomorphic Food Characters on Food Consumption
Authors: Jennifer Stoner (Univeristy of North Dakota), Rijana Adhikari (Univeristy of North Dakota), Michael Covey (University of Minnesota)
Presenting Author: Rijana Adhikari (Univeristy of North Dakota)
To have a better understanding of what drives the amount of food eaten, our research aims to explore the impact of anthropomorphism on consumption of the food that they represent. We find in four studies that women in general consume less when an anthropomorphic character is present than when it is absent. However, this effect is reversed when the anthropomorphic character is seen as encouraging food consumption. The same effect is not seen for men.
Brand Sonic Logos Can Convey the Masculine or Feminine (Meat vs. Salad) Nature of Food Products
Authors: Monin Techawachirakul (Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University), Abhishek Pathak (School of Business, University of Dundee), Gemma Calvert (Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University)
Presenting Author: Monin Techawachirakul (Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University)
Although meats and vegetables are two major distinctive categories of food products, the sonic logos representing their associated attributes remain unexplored. Prior literature has demonstrated extensively that specific musical instruments and foods are stereotyped based on gender. While brass instruments and meats share the masculine connotation, high-frequency instruments and vegetables share the trait of femininity. The current research revealed that sonic logos with masculine (vs feminine) instrumental timbre lead to consumer expectations of meat (vs vegetable) dishes. These findings provide the first indication of the crossmodal correspondence between instrumental timbre and meat/vegetable attributes and have managerial implications for the development of brand sonic logos.
You Want Me to Put That Where? An Intimate Exploration of Consumer Adoption of Reusable Menstrual Products
Authors: Anabella Donnadieu (Washington State University), Mycah Harrold (Washington State University), Aimee Huff (Oregon State University)
Presenting Author: Anabella Donnadieu (Washington State University)
We seek to identify consumer and product factors that facilitate or impede adoption of reusable menstrual products, such as menstrual cups. Within this intimate, and often overlooked, consumption context, we contribute a nuanced, embodied understanding of reusable menstrual product consumption and identify links between product features and consumer factors. Specifically, we identify that perceived invasiveness of the product as well construing the body as “creaturely” may be barriers to adoption. We also determine that White consumers may have more positive attitudes toward these products than non-White consumers.
Consumer “Fit” and Vulnerability: Gender, Sexual Orientation, and the Binary Approach in Retail
Authors: Kirby Cook (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Michelle Nelson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Presenting Author: Kirby Cook (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
This study explores how individuals from different genders and sexual orientations experience gender cues in clothing stores to understand the ways that these identities and retail cues intersect. By listening to the lived experiences of these consumers, we identify (1) interactions with sales associates as critical to evaluations of “fit”; (2) shoppers’ perceptions of vulnerability in retailscapes; and (3) despite changes in sociocultural norms of gender, retail continues to promote gender as a binary concept.
The Effect of Gender Congruence Between Anthropomorphic Packaging Shapes and Product Benefits on Consumer Responses
Authors: Eva Meersseman (Ghent University), Maggie Geuens (Ghent University), Iris Vermeir (Ghent University)
Presenting Author: Eva Meersseman (Ghent University)
We investigate whether products generate more positive consumer responses when there’s gender congruence (vs. incongruence) in terms of packaging shape and product benefits. We test this in two studies involving shampoo and hand soap. Congruence (vs. incongruence) between masculine (feminine) product benefits, e.g., “strong” (“soft”) and masculine (feminine) anthropomorphic V-shapes (hourglass shapes) improves product attitudes, purchase intentions and willingness to pay. Respondents’ perceived fit of the product elements mediates the effect when there’s a pronounced masculine or feminine product shape. When the shapes are more subtle, the same main effect is found, but perceived fit does not mediate the effect.
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