When sex doesn’t sell to men: Mortality salience, disgust and the appeal of products and advertisements featuring sexualized women

Lee, Seon Min and Heflick, Nathan and Park, Joon Woo and Kim, Heeyoung and Koo, Jieun and Chun, Seungwoo (2017) When sex doesn’t sell to men: Mortality salience, disgust and the appeal of products and advertisements featuring sexualized women. Motivation and Emotion, 41 (4). pp. 478-491. ISSN 0146-7239

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-017-9615-9

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When sex doesn’t sell to men: Mortality salience, disgust and the appeal of products and advertisements featuring sexualized women
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Abstract

Although men typically hold favorable views of advertisements featuring female sexuality, from a Terror Management Theory perspective, this should be less the case when thoughts of human mortality are salient. Two experiments conducted in South Korea supported this hypothesis across a variety of products (e.g., perfume and vodka). Men became more negative towards advertisements featuring female sexuality, and had reduced purchase intentions for those products, after thinking about their own mortality. Study 2 found that these effects were mediated by heightened disgust. Mortality thoughts did not impact women in either study. These findings uniquely demonstrate that thoughts of death interact with female sex-appeal to influence men’s consumer choices, and that disgust mediates these processes. Implications for the role of emotion, and cultural differences, in terror management, for attitudes toward female sexuality, and for marketing strategies are discussed.

Keywords:Advertising, sexualisation, mortality
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:28630
Deposited On:01 Sep 2017 09:34

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