Does cleavage work at work?

We examined whether men, but not women, would be distracted by a female sales representative’s exposed cleavage, leading to greater perceived efficacy for a weak, but not for a strong product. A community sample of 88 men and 97 women viewed a video of a female pharmaceutical sales representative who (a) had exposed cleavage or dressed modestly and (b) pitched an ineffective or effective product. Although men were not more distracted or persuaded by cleavage, they gave the cleavage-exposed (versus nonexposed) sales representative more favorable hiring recommendations in the ineffective-drug condition and less favorable ratings in the effective-drug condition. Women generally rated the sales representative similarly regardless of cleavage exposure. On a postexperimental questionnaire, men, but not women, believed that female sales professionals ought strategically to use sex appeal to distract from a weak (but not a strong) product.

Source: “DOES CLEAVAGE WORK AT WORK? MEN, BUT NOT WOMEN, FALSELY BELIEVE CLEAVAGE SELLS A WEAK PRODUCT” from Psychology of Women Quarterly

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