Date of Award

Spring 3-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Don Sacco

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Mitch Brown

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Alen Hajnal

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Aaron Fath

Committee Member 4 School



Women’s retention of their surname following marriage has become increasingly common despite pervasive stereotypes of this stereotype as leading to relational failure. It could be possible that women’s physical appearance could buffer them from these stereotypes, particularly if that appearance is sex-typical. This study investigated how feminized facial structures could buffer women from negative perceptions of their abilities in relationships. Participants assessed a woman described as having changed or kept her surname. This woman’s face varied in her sex typicality (i.e., feminized, masculinized, unaltered). Feminine women appeared more modest when they kept their surname. Hostile sexism predicted less relational success among masculinized women who kept their surname, whereas benevolent sexism predicted perceptions of more success among such women who changed their names. Sex typicality may offer a buffer against the consequence of norm deviation.

Available for download on Saturday, March 01, 2025