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Author Topic: Sex Appeal & Work
Crippled_Newsie
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Babbler # 7024

posted 06 August 2005 09:36 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No way am I commenting on this, because I doubt I could do so without making somebody angry, but I'll throw it out there:

USA Today:

quote:
Women who send flirtatious e-mail, wear short skirts or massage a man's shoulders at work win fewer pay raises and promotions, according to a Tulane University study to be presented Monday at the Academy of Management annual meeting in Honolulu.

In the first study to make plain the negative consequences of such behavior, 49% of 164 female MBA graduates said in a survey that they have tried to advance in their careers by sometimes engaging in at least one of 10 sexual behaviors, including crossing their legs provocatively or leaning over a table to let men look down their shirts.

The other half said they never engaged in such activity, and those women have earned an average of three promotions, vs. two for the group that had employed sexuality. Those who said they never used sexuality were, on average, in the $75,000-$100,000 income range; the others fell, on average, in the next-lowest range, $50,000 to $75,000.


Please note that the views expressed in the article do not match my own, and I fully expect its contents to be evicerated... rightfully so.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 06 August 2005 10:49 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Women need to be aware that when they say "It's a nice day," men will often conclude "She wants me," Benton says.

Well. That ... doesn't help, does it.

I think the operative term there should be "to advance their careers." Whether or not flirting actually helps to do that, I don't think I've ever done it and I don't think I would advise it.

All the same, if men are going to assume we're flirting all the time -- well, I mean: what's a gril to do?

I fell in love with a co-worker -- and yes, Reader, I married him. So I guess that sometimes, especially early on, we were flirting. Ok. We were flirting. But the flirting wasn't meant to advance my career, which is a good thing since it didn't.

No question but some of our colleagues were disturbed when they realized we were becoming a couple. Analysing why any given individual was disturbed would take too long and would be partly guesswork: some just plain disapproved, and yet our coupling-up couldn't have had any competitive impact on anyone else.

We didn't face disaster, but some wells were permanently poisoned, I think. That seems to me a shame: after all, the workplace is the main place, after school, that people meet one another, and it is often a place where affinity levels are likely to be high.

So I don't know what to think of all this. Is this study evidence that women have to be very severe about repressing their sexuality at work if they take their work and/or career seriously? If so, that's not good news, IMHO.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DA_Champion
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posted 06 August 2005 11:53 AM      Profile for DA_Champion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think this study, due to the fact it may be a "first of its kind," is probably going too far. I'm surprised by the article's claim that this is the first study. Perhaps as more such studies as done - as well as some looking at male responses - we'll gain a clearer reesponse as they will have benefited from a greater number of more diverse researchers constructing them.

They should make a study analyzing the effect of a woman's (and man's) physics appearance and see how that changes the dynamics above. Since the researchers made no analysis of that factor, we have to assume the self-proclaimed flirty women are equally good-looking as the self-proclaimed unflirty women. And notice there are research issues here with the words "self-proclaimed." How reliable is that?

I'd like to make some comments as a man though:

quote:
But executive coach Debra Benton, who has long asked business leaders about the pros and cons of sexuality in the workplace, said that if a similar survey were given to men, they would say that women use sexuality "all the time." Women need to be aware that when they say "It's a nice day," men will often conclude "She wants me," Benton says.

I do not believe women are flirting *all* the time. That's because they are, ummmm, not.

However, there are a lot of women, by no means the majority of women, perhaps around 5%, who will flirt with guys with no intention of ever being close with them, and only do so to extract favours. Guys are oblivious to this when they are fifteen. By twenty, they should have figured it out. It's very possible that when individuals see girls behaving like this with tons of guys in the workplace, they see her as a "slut."I work as a math tutor and I find it ridiculous when that small minority of girls will come up and ask me something in a soft voice which is not her regular voice, and be slightly slanted forward. Why does she feel the need to do this? I only expect my "customers" that they be polite, clear and that they listen to what I have to say. I am paid, and thus REQUIRED to help them.

One time I was working a a waiter, and I handed in my order to the chef right before a female waitress, and thus true to protocol needed to make the customers happy, he started preparing my food a bit earlier. And then she said, "but, I'm sooooo much better looking," and then shaked her T&A. I don't think it's productive for women to do this.


From: montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 06 August 2005 02:09 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I once read a book about job interviews. (Job Interviews for Dummies, I believe it was called.)It admonished men to not complain about such things as reverse discrimination, it admonished women not to complain about the glass ceiling, and in terms of dressing for job interviews, it told women to "save your sex appeal for that someone special."
From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Publius
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posted 08 August 2005 11:48 AM      Profile for Publius     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My inner social sciences statistics geek is kicking in here. It says that women who never flirt tend to earn more money. Couldn't the simple explanation be that women who earn more money tend to be more senior and experienced and not need to flirt to advance their careers whereas an inexperienced, low-ranking employee might be tempted to try? To infer a cause and effect relationship between income level and flirting seems pretty shaky. I'd be curious what methodology they used. I'd think a simple regression analysis could prove this study wrong.
From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 08 August 2005 12:03 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
They should make a study analyzing the effect of a woman's (and man's) physics appearance and see how that changes the dynamics above. Since the researchers made no analysis of that factor, we have to assume the self-proclaimed flirty women are equally good-looking as the self-proclaimed unflirty women. And notice there are research issues here with the words "self-proclaimed." How reliable is that?

Good point. Looks could even be biasing what gets counted as "flirting" and what doesn't.

I remember reading of a great study wherein photos of actors were given to a large group of women and assessed, in order to find out who was "good looking" and who wasn't (in a general way). These photos were then assigned fictitious personalities. One might become "Bob", a married upper manager with 2 kids. Another might be "Phil", a single guy working in the mail room.

Women were then asked how they would feel if these men asked them out on a date. Whether this was considered appropriate or not was most closely tied to how the "co-worker" looked. If he was handsome, it was more likely to be considered an appropriate question, even if the "co-worker" was married. If the co-worker wasn't handsome, it was more likely to be considered harrassment.

Unless they strictly codified what constitutes flirtation including not just phrases, but body language or intonation I'd take at least some of this with a grain of salt.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 08 August 2005 12:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Publius:
I'd think a simple regression analysis could prove this study wrong.

I love it when you talk like that.

(I don't actually understand how regression analyses are done, but I have seen so many of them deconstruct so much that I am sure that you are right, Publius.)

All those factors -- perceived attractiveness, perceived status, actual status -- no doubt play into people's progress up some kinds of ladders.

The attractiveness thing, though: I observe that there have always been a lot of very attractive women in service jobs and there still are. Like, a lot. And people never seem to expect them to progress up any ladder.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Publius
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Babbler # 8829

posted 08 August 2005 12:26 PM      Profile for Publius     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

I love it when you talk like that.


If you turn on some music and light some candles, I'll start talking about multivariate cluster analaysis or if things are going really well, maybe even get into structural equation modelling.


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 08 August 2005 12:30 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Ooh! This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 08 August 2005 12:36 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you turn on some music and light some candles, I'll start talking about multivariate cluster analaysis or if things are going really well, maybe even get into structural equation modelling.

Oooh oooh...how about structural equation modelling with latent variables? Panel regression or better yet, hierarchical linear modelling. There are new versions of both HLM and STATA out! Oh yeah, this was about flirting right?


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4014

posted 08 August 2005 12:43 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Could we lay off all the smutty talk, please. This is a family site, after all.
From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 08 August 2005 12:49 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Suddenly it hit me! And then I panicked for a minute until I could check out everyone's profiles to make sure you're all over eighteen.

Whew.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Publius
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8829

posted 08 August 2005 12:53 PM      Profile for Publius     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:

Oooh oooh...how about structural equation modelling with latent variables? Panel regression or better yet, hierarchical linear modelling. There are new versions of both HLM and STATA out! Oh yeah, this was about flirting right?


You had me at "hello".


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 08 August 2005 12:58 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally, I think it would be more interesting to examine the effects of gossip at work. As skdadl has said, there may be many office relationships happening, but I doubt many really try to flirt/sex their way to the top. I suspect that people who feel threatened by successful women will try to attribute it to their sexual prowess rather than their work ethic and hard-earned education. Me thinks many young women are often easy targets for such gossip coming from men and women.
From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged

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