Stereotyping at the intersection of race and weight: Diluted threat stereotyping of obese Black men.

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Date: Mar. 2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 256 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Prejudice/stereotyping; Person perception; Racism; Social cognition Abstract Black men are generally stereotyped as physically formidable and threatening. Across 3 studies, we investigate whether this threat stereotyping is diluted when Black men are obese. We competitively tested two hypotheses investigating whether obese Black men are seen as less racially stereotypical overall, or as uniquely less threatening (but still racially stereotypic more broadly). In Study 1, perceivers were less likely to list threat as a stereotype of obese Black men than weight-unspecified Black men. In Study 2, obese Black men were subject to reduced threat stereotypes, but were still subject to other stereotypes about Black men. Finally, in Study 3 this threat-specific dilution led perceivers to anticipate feeling less threatened by obese Black men, and believe police use-of-force is less justified toward obese Black men, relative to average-weight Black men (Study 3). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the well-established stereotype of Black men as threatening is not applied equally across weight. Instead, contradicting stereotypes of obese individuals as physically and psychologically incapable of threat dilutes the Black-threat stereotype. However, obese Black men are still subject to harmful race-based stereotypes unrelated to threat. Author Affiliation: (a) Indiana University, 1101 E 10th St, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States (b) East Los Angeles College, 2340 Firestone Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280, United States * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 27 May 2021; Revised 7 December 2021; Accepted 17 December 2021 (miscellaneous) Editor: Dr Ernestine Gordijn Byline: Mattea Sim [matsim@iu.edu] (a,*), Steven M. Almaraz [almarasm@elac.edu] (b), Kurt Hugenberg [khugenb@iu.edu] (a)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A690060608