Race is gendered: How covarying phenotypes and stereotypes bias sex categorization

Kerri L. Johnson, Jonathan B. Freeman, Kristin Pauker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We argue that race and sex categories are psychologically and phenotypically confounded, affecting social categorizations and their efficiency. Sex categorization of faces was facilitated when the race category shared facial phenotypes or stereotypes with the correct sex category (e.g., Asian women and Black men) but was impaired when the race category shared incompatible phenotypes or stereotypes with the correct sex category (e.g., Asian men and Black women). These patterns were evident in the disambiguation of androgynous faces (Study 1) and the efficiency of judgments (Studies 1, 2, 4, and 5). These patterns emerged due to common facial phenotypes for the categories Black and men (Studies 3 and 5) and due to shared stereotypes among the categories Black and men and the categories Asian and women (Studies 4 and 5). These findings challenge the notion that social categories are perceived independent of one another and show, instead, that race is gendered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-131
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Person perception
  • Race perception
  • Sex perception
  • Social categorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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