Gender Identity Salience and Perceived Vulnerability to Breast Cancer

Steven Sweldens, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Stefano Puntoni, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
Nader T. Tavassoli, London Business School, UK
Contrary to predictions based on cognitive accessibility, heightened gender identity salience resulted in lower perceived vulnerability and reduced donation behavior to identity-specific risks (e.g., breast cancer). No such effect was manifest with identity-neutral risks. Establishing the importance of self-identity, perceived breast cancer vulnerability was lower when women were primed with their own gender, but not with the general category of gender. Establishing the involvement of unconscious defense mechanisms, fear appraisal prior to the risk rating task eliminated the effect of a gender identity prime on perceived breast cancer vulnerability. The findings have direct implications for health communication and donation campaigns.
[ to cite ]:
Steven Sweldens, Stefano Puntoni, and Nader T. Tavassoli (2009) ,"Gender Identity Salience and Perceived Vulnerability to Breast Cancer", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 667-667.