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How sex primes lead to gender stereotypes in consumer judgment, categorization, and choice

Grant number: 21/00600-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2021 - May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Business Administration
Principal researcher:Delane Botelho
Grantee:Delane Botelho
Home Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Ramona De Luca


Since adolescence, consumers are exposed to sexual stimuli in their everyday life. Besides marketing messages, many other means contribute to such phenomenon, such as popular media (music, dance, etc.), channels such as social media platforms, and, more explicitly, porn sites. Despite the abundance of those sexual stimuli, little is known about the effects of incidental sexual cues on psychological processes and their impact on consumer judgment, categorization, and choice of everyday products. Based on social cognitive theory, which suggests that people can learn behaviors through repeated exposure via media, and cognitive script theory, which argues that media scripts create a readily accessible heuristic model for decision-making, I propose the following research questions: how does exposure to sexual stimuli lead consumers to product judgments, categorization, and gender-based stereotypical choices? What are the implicit and psychological mechanisms that underlie this effect? As heterosexual sexual content reflects actual gender differences in social behavior, I assume that continuous exposure to sexual stimuli changes how men and women perceive themselves, also influencing how they behave as consumers. Five experiments are proposed to test three hypotheses. The results may contribute to the literature in original and practical ways: i) the understanding of underlying mechanisms for how exposure to sexual stimuli shapes consumer behavior; ii) the advance of the priming method in the Brazilian context; iii) the understanding of how men and women are differently impacted when they are exposed to content of sexual stimuli, and how such stimuli influence their behavior. (AU)

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