News Release 

Sexualization, income inequality, and status anxiety

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A role-playing experiment involving more than 300 women, ages 18-45 years, from multiple countries and recruited through an online crowdsourcing platform, suggests that female self-sexualization increases with income inequality, as previously reported, because income inequality increases anxiety about social status, and not because it motivates derogation of same-sex competitors, supporting the hypothesis that social climbing and status competition drive sexualization among women.

Article #19-09806: "Status anxiety mediates the positive relationship between income inequality and sexualization," by Khandis R. Blake and Robert C. Brooks.

MEDIA CONTACT: Khandis R. Blake, University of Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; tel: +61-450906532; e-mail:


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