In today’s society, people are confronted by sexually objectified images of men and women across multiple forms of media. Self-objectification occurs when a person internalizes this objectified perspective of his/her body. Gender role conflict occurs when socialized gender roles have negative consequences for a person’s self or others. The current study sought to analyze the effect that objectified images of women from magazine advertisements can have on women’s self-objectification and men’s levels of gender role conflict. In this fully online study, each participant was shown five images of women with either high or low objectification. Images of highly objectified women included models showing more skin and posed more provocatively, and in images with low objectification, the models were dressed and posed more modestly. After viewing these images, participants were directed to the Self-Objectification Questionnaire and a modified version of the Gender Role Conflict Scale. Results indicated that women in this study were more likely to self-objectify than men, regardless of whether they saw images with high or low objectification. Men were more likely to experience gender role conflict than women overall, and there was a significant interaction between gender and condition such that men experienced higher gender role conflict in relation to success, power, and competition after viewing images with low objectification. Implications and limitations of findings are discussed.
Holmes, Sarah M., "The Effect of Media on Self-Objectification and Gender-Role Conflict in College Students" (2016). Honors College Theses. 159.