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Sexual Harassment Claims Are Biased By Beauty Standards, Report Finds

While everyone has an idea of what features and characteristics they find attractive or feminine, these thoughts become detrimental when applied, consciously or not, to believing accusers and defendants in court cases.

A new report from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the extent to which women are prototypical, or conventionally attractive and feminine, affects the likelihood of others believing their sexual harassment claim.1

Feminine Presenting Individuals Were More Likely to be Believed

Across 11 studies, 4,065 individuals were provided various scenarios of sexual harassment against a woman, and asked to complete tasks such as drawing or identifying how they pictured the woman to look. Participants demonstrated a clear mental link between prototypical beauty—more feminine—and the perceived appearance of the target of sexual harassment.

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