Women’s Attitudes toward Sexual Objectification in Brands: A Political Ideology Perspective

Carlos J. Torelli, Yafei Guo, Hyewon Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the issue of gender inequality dominates the public discourse, the country is sharply divided along party lines about its importance and the way to deal with it. In this polarized context, marketers struggle to devise brand communication strategies that will successfully connect with equality-conscious female consumers. By integrating research in political ideology, sexism, and brand communications, this research uncovers the types of sexual appeals that are more likely to resonate with female consumers who endorse a liberal (vs. conservative) ideology. Results of three lab experiments and a secondary data set demonstrate that liberal (vs. conservative) women are more likely to reject brands that are associated with a sexually objectified image of women. Furthermore, this effect is driven by liberal women’s rejection of benevolent sexism. These results are discussed in terms of the contributions to political ideology and brand communications research, as well as the implications for marketers’ communication strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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