Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




A woman who acts agentically in the workplace is more likely to be disliked and viewed as less competent than a woman who acts caring and communal. The negative consequences for acting outside of a cultural stereotype are called backlash. Cultural gender stereotypes for western society depict women as warm and communal while men are agentic and independent. Women in the workplace act outside of the cultural stereotype, and thus face backlash from their peers. This study examines the extent to which women utilize self-sexualization as a recovery strategy to cope with the fear of backlash, and ultimately how these variables affect cognitive depletion. In this study, participants experienced a low or high fear of backlash condition and then were measured on self-sexualization and cognitive depletion. With an entirely female sample (N=118) I found a positive correlation between the fear of backlash and self-sexualization. Additionally, I found that self-sexualization moderated the relationship between the fear of backlash and cognitive depletion. When the fear of backlash was low, there was no difference across conditions, but when the fear of backlash was high, those who were high in self-sexualization experienced less cognitive depletion than participants who were low in self-sexualization

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.