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Does it pay to be a flirt?
Report says women in the workplace who use sexual behavior may not get that next promotion or raise.
August 8, 2005: 2:19 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Flirting at the office is not only taboo, but it could even take a toll on your financial future.

Women who cross their legs provocatively, wear short skirts or massage a man's shoulders at work get fewer pay raises and promotions, according to Friday's USA Today.

The newspaper, citing a Tulane University study, said 49 percent of female MBA graduates polled admitted that they have tried to advance in their careers by sometimes engaging in certain sexual behaviors, including sending flirty e-mails and wearing revealing clothing.

The respondents who said they never engaged in such activity earned an average of three promotions, versus two for the group that had employed sexuality. Those who said they never used sexuality were, on average, in the $75,000-$100,000 income range; the other group fell, on average, into the next range, $50,000 to $75,000.

Tulane professor Arthur Brief said the study suggests that women should be careful about letting men open doors or lift boxes that aren't particularly heavy, because chivalry is "benevolent sexism."

"We argue that there are negative consequences for women who use sexuality in the workplace," Brief told the newspaper.

The 164 women in the study ranged in age from their mid-20s to 60.


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Tulane University
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