Social scientists have long studied the effects of media exposure on the psychology of females: the portrayal of women in visual media has long been suspected of being psychologically damaging to both female and male viewers. Such exposure unconsciously provides the viewer with ideals for women’s behavior and appearance. Unfortunately, these ideals are often greatly exaggerated, incorrect, or unattainable.
Research has linked exposure to such media to women’s lowered body satisfaction(Botta,2003), disordered eating (Becker,2004;Hawkins,Richards,Granley,&Stein,2004), and anxiety(Hallimer&Dittmar,2004; Grabe,Ward,&Hyde,2008). In this study, the effect of exposure to examples of ideal beauty as presented in childhood cartons on viewers’ perceptions was explored. Elementary-school-age girls(4-10) were exposed to either a cartoon montage including female images(e.g.,Cinderella) or a control video. Participants were then presented with 6 dolls arranged by BMI from healthy to clinically underweight. Participants were asked, in the guise of a game, to choose which doll looked most like themselves. They were also asked to choose which doll looked most like a princess. Actual BMI information was calculated for each participant. There was a significant difference between the BMI participants from each group chose to represent themselves. There was also a significant difference between the BMI participants from each group chose to represent a princess. Results are discussed in terms of effects across age groups; specifically, one must take into account the very young age at which most young girls are exposed to these images.
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History, Anthropology, & Philosophy
- Event location
Library Room 269:Open Classroom
- Event date
31 March 2014
- Date submitted
18 July 2022
- Additional information