Athlete or Sex Symbol: What Boys Think of Media Representations of Female Athletes

Athlete or Sex Symbol: What Boys Think of Media Representations of Female Athletes Little research has investigated males’ reactions to non-objectified media images of women, including those that depict women in instrumental activities like playing a sport. Using a survey methodology, this study examined U.S. adolescent boys’ open-ended responses to images of performance athletes, sexualized athletes, and sexualized models. Participants were 104 adolescent boys from California (ages 12–17, primarily European-American). They remarked on the performance athletes’ physical competence and focused on the athletic context depicted in the photograph. In contrast, participants focused on the physical appearance and attractiveness of the sexualized athletes and sexualized models. Overall, findings suggest that performance images of women evoke instrumental evaluations of women from male viewers, while sexualized images induce objectified appraisals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Athlete or Sex Symbol: What Boys Think of Media Representations of Female Athletes

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-9959-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Little research has investigated males’ reactions to non-objectified media images of women, including those that depict women in instrumental activities like playing a sport. Using a survey methodology, this study examined U.S. adolescent boys’ open-ended responses to images of performance athletes, sexualized athletes, and sexualized models. Participants were 104 adolescent boys from California (ages 12–17, primarily European-American). They remarked on the performance athletes’ physical competence and focused on the athletic context depicted in the photograph. In contrast, participants focused on the physical appearance and attractiveness of the sexualized athletes and sexualized models. Overall, findings suggest that performance images of women evoke instrumental evaluations of women from male viewers, while sexualized images induce objectified appraisals.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 10, 2011

References

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