Psychologists at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., say physical attractiveness helps women get ahead, but a sexy self-presentation might be harmful.
Psychologist Peter Glick and colleagues found provocative dress, such as the use of tight skirts and low-cut blouses, harmed businesswomen. But the negative effect was limited to women in high status positions, with such dress viewed as inappropriate for both managers and receptionists.
However, only managers dressing in a sexy manner evoked hostile emotions and were deemed less intelligent.
"A female manager whose appearance emphasized her sexiness elicited less positive emotions, more negative emotions, and perceptions of less competence on a subjective rating scale and less intelligence on an objective scale," the authors reported.
The study appears in the December issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
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