According to a recent study, young women with sexy social media photos are more likely to be perceived by other women as unprofessional, unreliable and incompetent. Which theoretical perspective of sociology would best describe this scenario and in which society does this occur?
The Oregon State University study describes a negative opinion of women that post provocative pictures on social media. This study has implications in the world of sociology in terms of the role of women in American society. The social conflict theory of sociology states that various groups in society work against one another in a competition for limited resources. The conflict in this scenario is one of gender: male vs. female. While the participants in the study were all women, the responses they gave suggest a cultural or societal bias. The bias is viewing women as sexual objects first, and competent members of society second. The stereotype suggests that women cannot be competent if they are somehow attractive and the two qualities are mutually exclusive. What members of society benefit from this prejudice? Feminists would argue that women have been viewed like this by men and that men have endorsed this perspective of women to maintain a patriarchal society. In this patriarchal society, males are more valuable than females. All of this taken together would suggest that this study would be analyzed from the social conflict theory of sociology.