AbstractsWomens Studies

Perceptions of work emails as a function of sender and recipient sex

by Efren Lopez Esparza

Institution: California State University, Los Angeles
Year: 2015
Keywords: Social psychology
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2086856
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=1597206


Research indicates that sexism, both hostile (angry sexism identifying women as inferior) and benevolent (paternalistic protection and other subjugating attitudes toward women; Glick & Fiske, 1996), are linked with negative attitudes toward social policies and legislation promoting women’s rights (Osborne & Davies, 2012). Most research however has been limited to examinations of attitudes toward abortion (Strickler & Danigelis, 2002) and affirmative action (Case, 2007). Although women are increasingly present in all areas of industry as professionals and workers, comparatively little research has examined attitudes toward women as leaders in organizations, especially in direct interactions with subordinates (Sinclair & Kunda, 2000). The current experiment examined perceptions of a forceful, assertive email from a male or female sender (boss) to a male or female receiver (subordinate). The sample comprised of 301 respondents collected online (47% men and 53% women; M age = 34.33 years, range = 19-74) completed an online survey. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) indicate that both men and women are reluctant to evaluate female subordinates negatively, including when they receive an email that describes their work performance negatively. However, interesting patterns emerge for evaluations of senders and for evaluations of the email itself. Results are discussed in terms of social attitudes toward evaluations of work email, and impressions formed of supervisors and subordinates depicted in emails.