psych1 - 1 SIZING UP SUCCESS Sizing up Success: A...

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1 SIZING UP SUCCESS Sizing up Success: A Relationship Between Weight and Career Income Layla Fijany Saddleback College
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2 Abstract Differences between the genders suggests that society holds very different body standards for men versus women, and consequences of defying these social norms may not be parallel. To further understand the outcomes of these actions in the employment context, this paper will examine the relationship between weight and income and the extent to which the relationship varies by gender. Specifically, a woman’s income will be negatively affected when weight is gained because society has established to be more accepting of thinner women and to discriminate against women who do not fit the standard body type. For women, a negative weight–income relationship is found to be steepest at the thin end of the distribution (Cable and Judge, 2010). For men, there is a positive weight–income relationship until the point of obesity is reached, where it becomes negative (Cable and Judge, 2010). Long-term research studies were conducted where weight was measured over time while earnings were averaged between the two sexes. In summary, it has been found that an individual’s size will affect the success and payoff of their career depending upon their sex.
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3 SIZING UP SUCCESS Sizing up Success: Relationship Between Waistband and Career Success Not until recently in history has thinness been so highly associated with physical attractiveness. During the 1800s, women were favored to be plump and full-figured, showing they were well fed and of high social status, while thin women were subject to ridicule and shame (Katherine and Edward, 1999). Historically, women's shapes have always been important, but the ideal standards and their definitions have evolved drastically. Currently, our society places great emphasis on thinness and attractiveness for women, a tendency also known as the culture of thinness (Matlin, 2004). Bodyweight is one of the most obvious physical characteristics and the topic of weight preoccupies the minds of many North American women (Matlin, 2004). Because of the society in which we live, physical appearance plays an important role in work place interactions and expectations. Research has noted that a stigma is attached to being overweight in our society and that this limits an individual’s opportunity (Katherine and Edward, 1999). This differential treatment is justified to include the beliefs that overweight people are lazy, with no willpower, self-control, or self-discipline. In this respect, weight, like race, class, and gender, is a stratification variable of the
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psych1 - 1 SIZING UP SUCCESS Sizing up Success: A...

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