Role of race and appearance in the dehumanization of women and minorities

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olivia Ateret Muse (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Erin Myers

Abstract: Research has indicated a pattern in different forms of dehumanization as they occur for women. When women are presented in a beauty-based manner, they are mechanistically dehumanized, which involves a denial of human nature traits; when women are presented with a sex-based connotation they are animalistically dehumanized, which involves a denial of uniquely human traits. However, the literature has widely focused on the manner in which white women are dehumanized, largely ignoring the way in which historical dehumanization based on race may affect the dehumanization of minority women. While it was hypothesized that all female targets would be subject to dehumanization, this study aimed to examine differences in patterns of dehumanization for white, Black, and Asian women. Based on historical stereotypes of Black and Asian women, namely the “Jezebel” and the “Madame Butterfly,” it was hypothesized that Black women will be more animalistically dehumanized in a sex-based context and that Asian women will be more mechanistically dehumanized in a beauty-based context. The results did not fully support the hypotheses. Limitations and future directions for research will be discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Dehumanization, Racism, Sexism, Women
Sex discrimination against women
Sex role -- Social aspects
Stereotypes (Social psychology)
Minority women
Women, White

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