Author

Young

Date of Award

6-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Andreas Philaretou

Second Advisor

E. Bryce Dickey

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda Dannison

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This qualitative investigation seeks to identify the sociocultural determinants and psychoemotional ramifications of essentialist gender role socialization on female employees in a sexualized work environment (SWE). Sexualized work environments incorporate work and sexuality and exist on a continuum according to the frequency and intensity of the sexual economic exchange that takes place within them. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with ten female employees at a comedy club to explore the social construction of female sexuality in such an environment. Subjects commented on the various advantages and disadvantages of working in a SWE as well as on general issues related to gender and self-definitions of sexuality. All of the waitresses reported employing various stereotypically female sexualized actions to increase their monetary rewards. However, they also mentioned other factors, such as, self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-confidence, and resiliency as affecting and being affected by their employment in a SWE.

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