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This content is taken from the University of Exeter's online course, Understanding Gender Inequality. Join the course to learn more.
An artists impression of feminist books on a shelf.
An original artwork by Anne Muntges

Additional links and reading

The following readings may be of interest for those who wish to read up on topics in more depth. Please note that some of these require access to libraries or may require payment to access.

Body ideals

MacCallum, F. & Widdows, H. Altered Images: Understanding the Influence of Unrealistic Images and Beauty Aspirations Health Care Analysis (2018) 2018; 26(3): 235-245. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10728-016-0327-1

Body image and work

Howlett, N., Pine, K.J., Cahill, N. et al. Unbuttoned: The Interaction Between Provocativeness of Female Work Attire and Occupational Status Sex Roles. 2015;72(3-4): 105. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-015-0450-8

Lee, S., Pitsea, M., Pillutla, M., Thau, S. ‘When beauty helps and when it hurts: An organizational context model of attractiveness discrimination in selection decisions’. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 2015;128: 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.02.003

Adriana Samper, Linyun W Yang, Michelle E Daniels, Beauty, Effort, and Misrepresentation: How Beauty Work Affects Judgments of Moral Character and Consumer Preferences. Journal of Consumer Research. 2018;45(1): 126–147 https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucx116


Nussbaum, Martha. “Objectification”. Philosophy & Public Affairs. 1995;24(4): 249–291. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1088-4963.1995.tb00032.x

Second shift

Hochschild, A. (with A Machung) The Second Shift. Working Families and the Revolution at Home. New York: Penguin Books; 1989.

Shifting attitudes towards women working

Bolzendahl, C. I., Myers, D. J.‘Feminist Attitudes and Support for Gender Equality: Opinion Change in Women and Men, 1974–1998’, Social Forces, 2004;83(2): 759–789. https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.2005.0005

Gender roles at home: how they are sustained

Giménez-Nadal, J. I., Mangiavacchi, L., Piccoli, L. ‘Keeping inequality at home: The genesis of gender roles in housework’, Labour Economics. 2019; 58: 52-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2019.03.006

Other resources:

Imperial War museum review of the role of women during the first world war.

Bechdel test - this test measures the representation of women in fiction. It is named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel

The Headless Women of Hollywood Project - a project which aims to highlight practices which objectify and dehumanise women by decapitating or otherwise fragmenting their image.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Gender Inequality

University of Exeter