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Cultural Influences on Advertising and Male Objectification



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P1 GYQ GDX GXB GCY GCP Sex Roles sers pp534 sers 375985 July 16 2002 11 42 Style file version June 3rd 2002 C 2002 Sex Roles Vol 46 Nos 3 4 February 2002 Eroticizing Men Cultural Influences on Advertising and Male Objectification1 Deana A Rohlinger2 The purpose of this paper is twofold First the model offered by Thomas Rochon is used to examine how ideas activism and changing American values have influenced advertiser practices as they relate to sexualized images of men in mainstream media Previous research has highlighted the importance of economic shifts on advertiser practices ignoring the importance of cultural factors such as the influence of the gay liberation movement on representations of masculinity in the post 1960s era Second a quantitative analysis of sexualized depictions of masculinity is presented These data suggest that men in contemporary advertisements increasingly display the visual cues of objectification After positioning these sexualized images in a larger social political and economic context the implications of male objectification is discussed KEY WORDS gender roles objectification advertisements In recent years the proliferation of sexualized images of men in advertising has been a topic of examination Bordo 1999 Ehrenreich 1983 LaFrance 1995 Mosse 1996 However it is unclear how such images fit into a larger discussion of gender representations Some authors discuss sexualized images of men in terms of economics In a postindustrial era advertisers seek to find new markets As such erotic images of men are designed to appeal to liberated women as well as the new male consumer Intuitively this observation makes sense The feminization of the workforce that resulted from the shift in the economic base from manufacturing to service placed more dollars in the hands of consumers In response to this economic shift advertisers adapted commercial imagery to appeal to a generation of liberated women who made and spent their own earnings Whipple Courtney



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