Terror Management Theory has led to suggestions that humans may distance themselves from menstruation in order to avoid reminders of their own corporeality and mortality, and the objectification of women has received empirical support as one means to do so. A content analysis of 240 menstrual product advertisements published in Seventeen and Cosmopolitan over 12 years was undertaken to look for evidence of objectification. Idealized images of women were common, lending support to the idea that these tactics can be used to provide distance from reminders of our own mortality, but overtly sexualized images were less common. The fact that nearly half of the advertisements did not include images of women may provide even stronger support for this idea. This indicated that a sanitized female body is not just being paired with reminders of menstruation, we are, literally, removing the female body entirely in many instances.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 21, 2011
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