Previous research has documented negative effects of exposure to sexually objectifying media and positive effects of viewing women with more power and agency. The current study evaluates the effects of pairing these two types of representations of women on gender attitudes. Experimental stimuli were based on actual images from a student newspaper, where a statement from the new, female university president ran on the front page adjacent to a sexually objectifying ad. The experiment used a 2 (type of article) X 2 (type of ad) X 2 (gender) design to evaluate the independent and combined effects of viewing the statement from the president and the objectifying ad. Exposure to the objectifying ad was related to more attributional bias and marginally more stereotype production but was not related to hostile or benevolent sexism. Men who saw the objectifying ad alongside the president's statement rated the president as significantly less competent than other groups. Implications for the professional advancement of women are discussed, including the importance of context for media attention paid to female political figures.
Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2015