Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Linda Garcia-Shelton

Second Advisor

Katrina Ellis

Third Advisor

Melissa Crofton

Fourth Advisor

Mary Beth Kenkel


The purpose of this research project was to examine whether ethnic and religious identity have a relationship with attitudes towards sexualized aspects of clothing. The sexualization of women in American culture, particularly in the media, has been noted by several institutions and researchers, including the American Psychological Association. However, there has been very little research examining the attitudes of individual women towards the kind of dress that is overtly hypersexualized. While there is a clearly observable portrayal of women in American media, the attitudes of individual women can be influenced by many other cultural factors, including ethnicity and religion. The current research project was designed to be an introductory foray into that question. An online survey was conducted among women living in the United States; participants self-identified as members of various religious and ethnic groups; participants were then asked to rate their likelihood of wearing sexually provocative clothing in different contexts. The results of the study indicated that ethnic identity is not correlated with women’s attitudes towards sexualized aspects of clothing, but religious identity is correlated with attitudes towards sexually provocative clothing.


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