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Media Exposure and Males Evalua tion of the Appearance of Females by Yuko Yamamiya A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D. William Sacco, Ph.D. Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D. Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D. Michael Brannick, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 26, 2007 Keywords: media images, attractiveness, appearance schematicity, female-ideal internalization, prevention Copyright 2007 Yuko Yamamiya
Dedication I would like to dedicate this disserta tion to my mom, Kiyomi Yamamiya, who has been with me all thro ugh my years in the U.S. Without her support, help, encouragement, and sacrifice, I could have never come this far.
Acknowledgements I appreciate my major professor and mentor, Dr. Thompson, for his support, guidance, and help in so many ways. I w ould also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Sacco, Dr. Brannick, Dr. Rottenberg, and Dr Vandello, for their insightful suggestions and advice to improve this project. And last, I thank my undergraduate research assistants for their help to complete this study.
i Table of Contents List of Tables iii List of Figures iv Abstract v Introduction 1 Background 1 Overview of Current Study 7 Pilot Studies 9 Pilot Study 1 9 Pilot Study 2 12 Method 14 Participants 14 Design and Procedures 15 Stimuli and Materials 20 Measures 21 Results 24 Preliminary Analyses 24 Collinearity Diagnostics 26 Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) 28 Discussion 33 Limitations 36 Conclusion 37 References 39 Appendices 45 Appendix A: Male Internaliza tion of the Female Ideal Questionnaire 46 Appendix B: Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised 51 Appendix C-1: Message Rating Form (Marketing Strategies) 53 Appendix C-2: Message Rating Form (Psychoeducational Information) 55 Appendix D-1: Products Rating Scale (Tools/Products) 57 Appendix D-2: Products Rating Scale (Fashion Items) 58 Appendix E: Rating Scal es of Romantic Relationship 59 Appendix F: Demographic Questionnaire 60
ii Appendix G-1: Transcript for Ma rketing Strategies Audio-Information 62 Appendix G-2: Transcript for Psychoeducational Audio-Information 64 About the Author End Page
iii List of Tables Table 1 Means, Standard Deviations, and Factor Loadings of the Male Internalization of the Fe male Ideal Questionnaire 11 Table 2-A ANOVA Results of Age and BMI Across Conditions 25 Table 2-B Nominal Regression Results of Ethnicity and Relationship Status Across Conditions 25 Table 3-A Collinearity Diagnostics of the Types of Audio-Information, Exposure Stimuli, and Female-Ideal Internalization as Independent Variables 27 Table 3-B Collinearity Diagnostics of the Types of Audio-Information, Exposure Stimuli, and Appearance Schematicity as Independent Variables 27 Table 4-A Means and Standard Deviati ons of the RSRR Scores Across Groups 29 Table 4-B Means and Standard Deviati ons of the Post-Exposure Ratings of Current Relationship Across Groups 29 Table 5-A ANCOVA Results of the RSRR Scores Across Groups with Female-Ideal Internalization Levels and Appearance Schematicity Levels as Covariates 30 Table 5-B ANCOVA Results of the Curre nt Relationship Ratings After an Experiment Across Groups with the Current Relationship Ratings Before an Experiment, Female-Id eal Internalization Levels, and Appearance Schematicity Levels as Covariates 30
iv List of Figures Figure 1 Procedures of All Conditions 19
v Media Exposure and Males Evaluati on of the Appearance of Females Yuko Yamamiya ABSTRACT The adverse effect of the exposure to images of attractive females on womens body image and mood has been well-documented in studies conducted in various western and westernized nations. However, resear ch designed to determine the effect of exposure to attractive female images on men has been rather neglected. Past findings indicate that after being expos ed to exceptionally attractive female images, males report less satisfaction for a current relationship, rate average-looking females as less attractive, and express less affection for their significan t other compared to those men exposed to control images. It is currently not known, however, whether a psychoeducational intervention might prevent the negative medi a exposure effect. Additionally, it is not known if the exposure effect might be modera ted by dispositional characteristics of the participant. This study was designed to determine if a psychoe ducational manipulation consisting of information regarding the unr ealistic appearance standards currently required of women would mitigate the rati ngs men give of average-looking women following exposure to attractive images. Additionally, two dispositional measures were included (appearance-schematicity and female-ideal internalization) in order to evaluate whether these trait le vels would moderate the effect s of the exposure manipulation. The participants were 15 9 male undergraduate students between 18 and 30 years of age. The majority (57%) of them were Caucasian, followed by 19% who were
vi Hispanic/Latino and 11% who were Afri can-American. Their mean age was 19.80 ( SD = 2.06) and mean BMI was 24.90 ( SD = 4.20). Most of them (42%) were not seeing anyone currently, whereas 39% of them were in a committed relationship. The findings partially supported the hypothe ses. The males who were exposed to the attractive female images evaluated av erage females less physically attractive than those exposed to a control condition (inani mate objects); however, the psychoeducation did not reduce the adverse exposure effect Instead, the combination of neutral audio-information and control exposure condition resulted in the most favorable ratings of average females. Regarding dispositional characteristics, female-ideal internalization was associated with the loss of interest in dating average females and the overestimation of a current partners weight after the expe riment. The limitations and implications of the study findings are discussed.
1 Introduction Background Traditionally, in the evaluation of phys ical attractiveness, researchers have treated the construct as an independent variable (Bersche id & Walster, 1974; Gross & Crofton, 1977). However, the evaluation of someones physical attr activeness has been found to be dependent on several factors, including knowledge of the persons similarity in attitudes with the self (B erscheid & Walster, 1974), in formation that the person has highly valued traits (Gross & Crofton, 1977), actual relationship of the person to the individual (Cavior, 1970), and/ or association of the person w ith someone else who is very attractive (Meiners & Sheposh, 1977). Moreover, a contrast effect may affect perceptual judgments. That is, perceptu al judgments and evaluations of average stimuli in a series are displ aced away from extreme stimuli, and this effect operates in various physical dimensions such as weight (e.g., Heintz, 1950; Sherif, Taub, & Hovland, 1958), length (e.g., Krantz & Campbell, 1961), and shape (Helson & Kozaki, 1968). Therefore, it is possible that a contrast effect also operate s in the judgment of physical attractiveness, and prior e xposure to extremely attractive people may result in an underrated judgment of the attractiv eness of an average individual. We are flooded with the images of excep tionally attractive in dividuals via mass media, and the media exposure may set an (unr ealistically) high standa rd of attractiveness as an anchoring point of judgment (Helson, 1964). Indeed, from rather early years, various researchers have argue d that mass media portray ex traordinary high standards
2 of physical attractiveness (B erscheid & Walster, 1974), implying that only highly attractive people are appropriate, ideal, or desirable. Such ideal female images in various male-oriented magazines, TV progr ams and commercials, and other Western media are so pervasive that th e exposure to the id ealized images is almost inevitable (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). According to cultivation theory (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994), such recurrent and continuous exposure to a specific type of people, values, and themes can strongly af fect media consumers conceptions of the reality. That is, the repeated portrayal of extremely thin and attractive females may result in the consumers having unrealis tically high expectations for females. Thus, average stimuli may be placed fart her away from the extreme stimuli, and the extreme stimuli are set as the ideals or reference points through the recurrent presentation, which in combina tion result in the underevaluati on of the average stimuli. This may mean that average females who are not close to the ideals of attractiveness set by the media presentation of extremely th in and attractive females will be unjustly underrated by the media consumers, especially males. Some researchers have indeed found this adverse media exposure effect on the evaluation of female attractiveness among males. For instance, in a field st udy by Kenrick and Gutierres (1980), two male confederates visited college dorm rooms and asked male residents to ra te a picture of an average-looking female as a potential blind da te for another resident, either before or during a TV program consisting of Charlies Angels (whose main characters were three strikingly attractive females). It was found that the picture of an average-looking female was rated significantly lower among those w ho were asked to rate the picture while watching Charlies Angels than among those who were watching something else or
3 nothing at all. In another study by the same researchers (Kenrick & Gutierres, 1980), male participants were shown either slides of attrac tive females or no pictures at all, then asked to rate a picture of an average-looking fema le on various traits including attractiveness and desirability. Again, the picture of an average female was rated significantly lower among the group of males being exposed to a ttractive female images than males being exposed to no pictures. Moreover, Harris on and Cantor (1997) have found that the males who habitually read magazines, especially males entertainment magazines, were more disappointed when their blind date was overweight, compared to those who did not routinely read such magazines. These findi ngs imply that the recent or current exposure to highly attractive media images in magazine s, movies, or on TV may negatively affect ones initial evaluations of a potential romantic partner as well as expectations for females in general. As all the participants in the above mentioned studies were rating a stranger, these particular results seem most applicable to a situation where one loses interest in someone as a potential romantic partner (Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottmann, 1966) just because the person does not meet the expectations of female attractiveness. In one study, however, whether these results wo uld also be applicable to judgments made within on-going relationships was tested (Kenrick, Gutierres, & Goldberg, 1989). The study found that those who were exposed to th e attractive centerfolds of the opposite sex rated their current partners sexual attractiv eness significantly lower than did those who were not. Moreover, male participants e xpressed less affection toward their current partners after the exposure to the centerfolds. Thus, the exposure to attractive media
4 images seems to have adverse effects on the evaluation of attractiveness and desirability of a normal looking individual, especially female, regardle ss of ones relationship to the person (i.e., a stranger or current romantic partner). Nevertheless, despite the findings that the media exposure has adverse effects on the evaluation of others in terms of physical appearance and desirability, this research area has received little atte ntion. Instead, researchers ha ve rather disproportionately focused on the adverse effects of media e xposure on females body image disturbances and eating disorder symptomatology. For instance, Stice, Schupak-Neuberg, Shaw, and Stein (1994) found that the amount of the exposure to magazines and/or TV was positively correlated to body-image dissatisfac tion, gender role endorsement, and eating disorder symptomatology among females. Ev en a brief exposure to highly attractive media images is found to result in elevated weight concern, body-image disturbances, self-body consciousness, negative affects, and decreased self-percepti on of attractiveness among females (Tiggemann, 2002). However, not all females are adversely affected by the media exposure to the same degree; some females are, in fact, not af fected at all. Recent research has shown that particular dispositional factors either mediate or moderate the media exposure effects among females. One of the dispositional f actors is the level of internalization of sociocultural messages regarding thinne ss and attractiveness (Cattarin, Thompson, Thomas, & Williams, 2000; Stormer & Thompson, 1996; Yamamiya, Cash, Melnyk, Posava, & Posavac, 2005). Cattarin et al. (2000) argue that the media-transmitted images of highly attractive females is one of the pathogens that facilitate body-image dissatisfaction, and those who are most suscepti ble to such pathogens are those who have
5 internalized sociocu ltural ideals of attr activeness strongly held in the society. Another dispositional factor that is found to influence the media exposure effect on the judgment of self-perceived at tractiveness among females is appearance schematicity. Based on the self-schema theory by Markus (1977), it has been suggested that individuals who invest heavily in appearance (i.e., highly appearance-schematic individuals) use appearance-rela ted information as the basis of their self-evaluation (Cash & Labarge, 1996). Moreover, they are more likely to pay attention to, remember, and interpret appearance-related information than are those with low appearance schematicity (Altabe & Thompson, 1996; Cash & Labarge, 19 96; Vitousek & Hollon, 1990). Such an information processing bias not only influe nces ones interpreta tion of self-relevant information but also causes the increased atte ntion to the appearan ce of other people (Markus & Smith, 1981; Markus, Smith, & Moreland, 1985). Internalization of sociocultural ideals and appearance schematicity as potential mediators or moderators of the adverse ef fects of media exposure have not yet been examined in males. It is possible that males with high internalization of the sociocultural ideals required of females in ou r society may be more likely to evaluate the physical appearance of the real world fema les less favorably. In addition, males with high levels of appearance schematicity might be expected to pay more attention to and use appearance as the basis of the evaluation of not only themselves but also other people. Thus, it might be conjectured that males w ith high levels of internalization and appearance schematicity should ra te both a picture of an aver age-looking female as well as their current romantic partner as less attr active and less desirable after viewing highly attractive media images of females.
6 The fact that those with pa rticular attitudinal and cogni tive patterns, such as the internalization of sociocultural ideal and th e mental investment in appearance (i.e., appearance schematicity), are mo re prone to the media-exposur e effects implies that it is possible to prevent the adverse media effect s by altering their cognition. In fact, many researchers have placed more emphasis on how schematic investment in physical attractiveness cognitively moderates the nega tive consequences of the media exposure, such as body-image dissatisfaction, and started to take a cognitive approach to prevent the negative media influence (e.g., Altabe & Thompson, 1996; Cash, 1994; Labarge, Cash, & Brown, 1998; Markus, Hamill, & Sentis, 1987). For instance, researchers have evaluated media literacy as a prevention stra tegy to reduce the nega tive media effects on ones body image (Berel & Irving, 1998; Levine Piran, & Stoddard, 1999 cited in Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002). Medi a literacy includes such tact ics as awareness of media strategies, analysis of conten ts and intentions of the medi a messages, and activism against what the media advocate (Levine et al., 1999; Piran, Levine, Irving, & EDAP, Inc., 2000). Providing psychoeducational information rega rding the facts about the unrealistic standards or ideals advocated via the media in intervention programs (Thompson & Smolak, 2001; Levine & Smolak, 2002) is an ex ample of a practical application of media literacy. The utilization of media literacy has been found effective to prevent the adverse media effects among young females in several studies. For instance, Posavac, Posavac, and Weigel (2001) provided two types of psychoeducational information to female college students. One type of the psychoeduc ational information was labeled artificial beauty, which argued that the media images of women were not a ppropriate standards
7 because their beauty was artificial as thei r physical attributes were altered by various professional techniques. For instance, make -up and hair styling, lighting, and several photographic effects including airbrushing and computer graphics cr eate their flawless looks and women are made to believe that they can attain the flawless looks if they put a lot of money and effort into dieting, prim ing, and/or exercising. Another type of psychoeducational message is g enetic realities, which contains information noting that most women are genetically predisposed to be heavier than the media-transmitted images of ideal women are, though most women migh t believe that through certain behaviors, they could be as thin as fashion models. Posavac et al. (2001) found that the exposure to idealized media images increased bodyimage dissatisfaction among females who had pre-existing weight concern, but the provision of the ps ychoeducational information significantly reduced the adverse mediaexposure effects among those females. Yamamiya et al. (2005) conducted a simila r study, utilizing the psychoeducational information used in the Posavac et al. ( 2001) study with college females, though they used internalization levels as a moderator and state body image instead of weight concern as a dependent variable in their analysis. They found a comparable result with that of the Posavac et al. (2001) study. That is, the exposure to thin -and-beautiful media images worsened the state body image of young females particularly with high internalization levels, but providing the psychoeducational information reduced the negative impact of the media exposure on them. Overview of Current Study The proposed study is modeled after the Ya mamiya et al. (2005) study in several respects and will involve the evaluation of a psychoeducational strategy designed to
8 reduce the effects of media exposure on males judgments of females. There will be four exposure conditions. In one control c ondition, participants will be provided neutral information (marketing strategies) and contro l stimuli (slides of various products). In a second control condition, participants w ill be provided the neutral information (marketing strategies) but will view slides of attractive female models, instead of products. In the third control conditi on, participants will be provided the psychoeducational information (artificial beau ty) designed to reduce an endorsement of the sociocultural ideal, then exposed to the ne utral stimuli (slides of products). In the experimental condition, participants will be provided psychoeducational information, followed by a viewing of the slides of attr active females. In all four conditions, following exposure to the attractive models or products, participants will rate the appearance and desirability of slides of females pre-rated to meet a criterion of average level of attractiveness. They will also rate the appearance and desirability of their current romantic partner (if they are in a relationship). Levels of internalization and appearance investment will be analyzed as moderators. It is expected that the experimental group receiving the psychoeducational information prior to the exposure to slides of attractive females will produce ratings on the dependent variables (slides of average females, partners attractiveness) that are higher (e.g., will rate them as more attractive) than those ratings for the group receiving either the neutral message prior to viewing the attractive females or the group receiving the neutral message prior to the product slide manipulation. It is also expected that the group viewing the slides of attractive fema les following the neutral message will make the lowest ratings on the dependent measures. Therefore, the order of ratings is
9 hypothesized to be the following: Psychoe ducational Group (PG) > Control Group 1 (CG1), neutral message, product slides = Control Group 3 (CG3), psychoeducational message, product slides > Control Group 2 (C G2), neutral message, attractive female slides. It is also hypothesized that intern alization and appearan ce schematicity levels will significantly affect ratings on the dependent measures, with those participants higher on these levels rating the average models as less desirable. Pilot Studies Two pilot studies were conducted to provi de measures and stimuli for the current project. Pilot Study 1 Due to the lack of a scale to assess males internalization of females attractiveness standards, the Sociocultura l Attitudes Towards Appearance Scale 3: Internalization subscale (SAT AQ-3: Internalization; Thompson, van den Berg, Roehrig, Guarda, & Heingerg, 2004) was modified to measure the extent to which males internalize the sociocultural ideal, compare females to the ideal, and wish females to look like the ideal. Half of the items ask respondent s to rate items with regard to females in general and the other items ask them to rate w ith regard to their romantic partner (current or hypothetical). The newly modified scale, named the Male Internalization of the Female Ideal Questionnaire (MIFIQ) was given to 225 male students at the University of South Florida in exchange for an extra cred it point, which could be used toward various psychology courses. It was filled out either in classrooms or on-line via ExperimenTrak from 2003 to 2004. Among the respondents, 58% were in a romantic relationship, 56% were not currently marrie d, and 36% were committed to one particular
10 partner (including marriage). Approximately half (55%) fell in the age range of 18 to 20, and 41% were Caucasian, 6% African American 7% Hispanic, and 4% Asian. In order to analyze factor structure, the data were entered in SPSS ver.11.0 a nd exploratory factor analysis was run with principal axis fact oring extraction method. The results showed that the scale had only one factor (see Table 1).
11 Table 1 Means, Standard Deviations, and Factor Loading s of the Male Inte rnalization of the Female Ideal Questionnaire Items M ( SD ) Loadings I wish more women looked as athletic as the women in magazines. 3.31 (1.01) .52 I wish more women looked as athletic as sports stars. 2.83 (1.01) .42 I compare most womens bodies to those of women in good shape. 3.60 (1.08) .55 I compare most womens bodies to those of women who are athletic. 3.14 (1.03) .52 I would like more womens bodies to look like the women on TV. 3.43 (1.02) .68 I would like more womens bodies to look like the models in magazines. 3.30 (1.22) .66 I would like more womens bodies to look like the women in movies. 3.54 (.98) .65 More women should try to look like the women on TV. 2.94 (1.04) .72 I compare most womens bodies to the bodies of TV and movie stars. 2.97 (1.09) .71 I compare most womens appearances to the appearances of TV and 2.99 (1.08) .75 movie stars. I do not compare most womens bodies to the bodies of women in 3.05 (1.11) .64 magazines. I compare most womens appearances to the appearances of women in 2.96 (1.08) .73 magazines. I wish my partner/significant other looked as athletic as the women in 2.94 (1.16) .69 magazines. I wish my partner/significant other looked as athletic as sports stars. 2.68 (1.14) .61 I compare my partners/significant others body to those of women in 3.43 (1.06) .57 good shape. I compare my partners/significant others body to those of women who 3.03 (1.14) .56 are athletic. I would like my partners/significant others body to look like the 3.08 (1.14) .74 women on TV. I would like my partners/significant others body to look like the 3.08 (1.22) .73 models in magazines. I would like my partners/significant others body to look like the 3.18 (1.11) .73 women in movies. My partner/significant other should try to look like the women on TV. 2.57 (1.07) .76 I compare my partners/significant others body to the bodies of TV 2.84 (1.07) .78 and movie stars. I compare my partners/significant others appearance to the 2.83 (1.08) .80 appearances of TV and movie stars. I do not compare my partners/significant others body to the bodies 2.84 (1.14) .66 of women in magazines. I compare my partners/significant others appearance to the 2.82 (1.14) .76 appearances of women in magazines.
12 That is, males seemed to internalize the female ideal and evaluate all females in the same fashion regardless of (1) sources of the ideal (i.e., fashion models, movie stars, female athletes) or (2) their relationship to the females being compared and evaluated (i.e., female strangers, their romantic partner). The scale consists of 24 items that assess to what extent males internalize the sociocultu ral ideals, compare females to such ideals, and wish females including their own partne r to look like such ideals. The internal reliability of the MIFIQ with this pilot population was .95. Pilot Study 2 In order to create the visual stimuli th at would be used in the study, numerous pictures of females were collected from a vari ety of websites, such as portfolios of model agencies and picture banks for the public use. Altogether, 108 pictures of varied levels of attractiveness were selected and provided to 58 male participants (mean age = 22.3, SD = 5.39; 57% Caucasian, 16% African America n, 9% Hispanic, and 7% Asian). They were asked to rate and estimate each female by using three 7-point Likert-type scales and one 4-point Likert-type scal e in terms of the attractiveness (response range of 1 = Very Attractive to 7 = Very Unattractive), weight (response range of 1 = Very Underweight to 7 = Very Overweight ), mood (response range of 1 = Very Positive Mood to 7 = Very Negative Mood ), and the age (1 = Under 18 years old, 2 = 18 to 25 years old, 3 = 26 to 35 years old, 4 = Over 36 years old ). The mean score of attractiveness was 3.61 ( SD = 1.31). The criterion for Attractive images was photos that we re at least 1 SD below the mean of the scores. This score was 2.6 (l ower score indicates hi gher attractiveness). Average images were, on the other hand, selected among the group of pictures whose
13 mean scores fell between 4.00 and 4.99 as 4 was assigned Average on the scale, since the arithmetic mean might be pulled up or dow n by outliers. From the final group of 30 Attractive images and 24 Average images 10 pictures were chosen from Attractive group (as exposure stimuli; see Procedure sec tion for details) and 12 from Average group (as rating stimuli). Attractive group co nsists of three pictures of Caucasian, three pictures of Hispanic, two picture of Asian, and two pictures of African American females. These numbers were determined by assuming that the sample for the present study will be similar in demographic ch aracteristics to th e pilot sample, and approximately 33% of the selected pictures in the initial Attractive set were Caucasian, 30% Hispanic, 20% Asian, and 17% African American. On the other hand, Average group consists of five pictures of Caucasian, three pictures of Hisp anic, two pictures of Asian, and two pictures of African-American females. A preliminary analysis was run to equate the estimated age and weight of the females in the selected slides, regardless of their attractiveness levels. As a result, one picture of a Hispanic-Caucasian female with the mean attractiveness score of 3.94 was incl uded in Average set; all other Hispanic pictures rated between 4.00 and 4.99 were overw eight, which would lead to a larger mean score of the estimated weight among average slides.
14 Methods Participants Participants were undergraduate male stude nts at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. They participated in th e study in exchange for extra credit points, which could be used in various psychology c ourses. In order to participate in the proposed study, they must be: (1) between 18 and 30 years old; (2) heterosexual; and (3) male. Altogether, 182 male students participated. However, 23 of them were deleted from the analyses because they missed three or more items on the attention check questions on the Message Rating Form (see below), skipped crucial items or large numbers of items on any of the questionnaires used, answered differently on the same questions, and/or failed to complete their participation. Of the 159 participants whose data were included in th e final analyses, 57% (n = 90) were Caucasian, 19% (n = 30) were Hispanic/Latino, 11% (n = 18) were African-American, 8% (n = 13) were Asian, a nd 5% (n = 8) were other. The average age of the participants was 19.80 ( SD = 2.06) and their class st anding were 40% (n = 63) freshmen, 30% (n = 48) sophomores, 16% (n = 25) juniors, and 15% (n = 23) seniors. In regard to their relationship status, 42% (n = 66) were not seeing anyone, 19% (n = 30) were dating casually, 35% (n = 56) were dating someone excl usively, 1% (n = 2) were engaged, and 3% (n = 4) were ma rried. Their average BMI was 24.90 ( SD = 4.20).
15 Design and Procedures Participants signed up for the study vi a ExperimenTrak on-line participation registration. In order to sign up for the st udy, however, participants were required to complete the MIFIQ and the Appearance Sche mas Inventory-Revise d (Appendix A and B, respectively). Then the participants si gned up for any available group session (five participants maximum). Each group was randomly predetermined to be control group 1 (Neutral Info.Products), control group 2 (N eutral Info.Attrac tive Models), control group 3 (Psychoeducational Info.Products), or experiment al group (Psychoeducational Info.Attractive Models). As participants came to the lab, a male experimenter explained that the proposed study was actually a series of three sepa rate studies to explore contemporary young people in various areas, incl uding certain educational programs, products, and dating patterns. The Consent Form was read and signed by all participants before any portion of the study begins. After th e participation, they were gi ven a written debriefing that explained the true purpose of the study. All the instructions they received in a lab were predetermined and read by the male experimenter on site. In the lab, those in Control Group 1 (n = 42) were given the educational information about marketing strategies. They were explained that the audiotaped message they were about to hear would be provided to young college students to help them become informed consumers of various products in the near future so that the researchers were interested in the clarity and comprehensiveness of the message. To convince the participants and to ensure that participants pay close attention to the audiotaped information, the participants were asked to answer to some questions
16 regarding the information give n in the tape on a questionnaire (Message Rating form; Appendix C-1), even though their responses w ould not be used in primary analyses. They were given approximately ten minutes to complete the task. Then, the neutral stimuli (slides of various products) were given to the participants. They were told that the researchers ar e interested in the changes of pr eferences of certain products among young people across the past decades, theref ore given a bogus evaluation questionnaire (Products Rating Scale; Appendix D-1) along wi th the slides, which asked how attractive the products were and how much they would like to own them. This evaluation questionnaire could also ensure that participants would be pa ying attention to the contents of the slides. After the slide presentation, the participants were told that the researchers were interested in contemporary males refe rence for a dating part ner and typical dating pattern and exposed to the slides of averagelooking females. They were again given an evaluation questionnaire (Rating Scale of Ro mantic Relationship; Appendix E). The questionnaire asked how attractive and sexually desirable the females in slides were and how much they would like to date them. At the very end, the participants filled out the demographic questionnaire (Appendix F), which contained the questions to ask about their current partner and the relationship in terms of a ttractiveness and satisfaction, respectively. The participants in Control Group 2 (n = 38) were given the same control information as those in Control Group 1 with the same rationale and the rating form. However, instead of being given slides of automobiles, they were given slides of attractive fashion models. A similar explana tion to the one used in Control Group 1 was provided, that the researchers were interested in the changes of preferences of females
17 fashion among young people across the decades. They completed the bogus evaluation questionnaire (Products Rati ng Scale; Appendix D-2) along with the slides, asking how attractive the models fashions were and how much they would like their significant other to wear the fashions. After the slide presentation, the participants were presented the slides of average-looking females, with the same explanation as the one used in Control Group 1. They were given an evaluation questionnaire that asked how attractive and sexually desirable the women were and how mu ch they would like to date them. Then, the participants filled out the demographic questionnaire. Those in Control Group 3 (n = 40) were given the psychoeducational information (artificial beauty) then asked to evaluate the quality of the audiotaped information. They were told that the audi otaped message would be given to educate young college students regarding the female phys ique in the near future so that the researchers were interested in the clarity of the message. After completing the message rating form (Appendix C-2), they were exposed to the slides of various products and then asked to fill out the produc ts rating scale (Appendix D-1). Then, they were shown the slides of average females and asked to rate the attractiveness and desirability of the females via a questionnaire. The Psychoeducational Group (n = 39) were given the psychoeducational information first, and then asked to answer to questions regarding the audiotaped information with the same rationale as CG3. As they completed the task, they were exposed to the experimental stimuli and a bogus evaluation questionnaire. Then, they were exposed to the slides of averagelooking females and given the same rating questionnaire as well as the demographic questionnaire used throughout conditions. See
18 Figure 1 for the overall procedures of the study.
19Groups CG1 CG2 CG3 PG Pre-Measures ASI-R and MIFIQ (on-line) ASI-R and MIFIQ (on-line) ASI-R and MIFIQ (on-line) ASI-R and MIFIQ (on-line) Type of Audio-Information Marketing Strategies Marketing Strategies Artificial Beauty Artificial Beauty Type of Exposure Stimuli Daily Tools Fashion Models Daily Tools Fashion Models Type of Evaluation Stimuli Average Females Average Females A verage Females Average Females Post-Measures RSRR and Demographic Questionnaire RSRR and Demographic Questionnaire RSRR and Demographic Questionnaire RSRR and Demographic Questionnaire Figure1. Procedures of All Conditions. ASI-R = the Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised, MIFIQ = the Male Intern alization of Female Ideal Questionnaire, RSRR = the Rating Scales of Romantic Relationship.
20 Stimuli and Materials Three types of visual stimuli were used. Control stimuli we re the slides of various products including a stap ler, an office chair, an abacus, and a lawn mower, which were taken from various websites. The attractive female photo set of stimuli consisted of the slides of highly attractive females. These pictures were ta ken from the websites of model agencies, TV programs, and pictu re banks as mentioned previously. The stimuli consisting of images of average-look ing females were from the same sources as the experimental stimuli. Both slides of attractive female images and average-looking female images were prerated as either highly attractive or average by a normative sample demographically similar to the partic ipants in the study. The mean of rated attractiveness of Attractiv e set was 1.88 whereas that of Average set was 4.34. The means of estimated age and weight of Attr active set were 2.23 and 3.66, respectively, while those of Average set were 2.22 and 3.65, respectively. Two audiotapes were used. One was the extension of artificial beauty adapted from the Yamamiya et al. (2005) study, which was used as psychoeducational inoculation to prevent the adverse media exposure effects. As described previously, the artificial beauty argues that media imag es are unrealistic and irrelevant standards because their flawless looks are created by prof essional techniques, such as air-brushing, hair-styling, and make-up. This informati on was found effective to reduce the media exposure effects among females, though it has never been tested with males. The other information was marketing strategies adopted mainly from the personal website of a professor, Dr. Lars Perner (The psychology of consumers: Consumer behavior and marketing, 2005), with some minor changes an d additions of words to equate the word
21 length with the psychoeducational information. This information described what types of psychological approaches marketers use to persuade consumers. This information was selected because it might have similar demand characteristics with psychoeducational information in relation to the emphasis and exploitation of psychological persuasion used in the me dia without the actual psychoeducational ingredients regarding idealized female physi que. Both types of the transcripts were equivalent in word length (1033 words for neutral information and 1038 words for psychoeducational information). In additi on, the terminology of the transcripts was discussed among a group of graduate resear chers and modified to have similar comprehensive levels. A male unknown to the participants recorded the tapes. Measures Demographic questionnaire This measure assessed participants age, ethnicity, height and weight, relationship status, satisfaction level of the relationship as well as their partners age, ethnicity, and attractivene ss. Those who were not in a romantic relationship currently did not answer to the specific questio ns regarding the relationship and partner. The Male Internalization of the Female Ideal Questionnaire (MIFIQ). This is the scale described previously in Pilot St udy 1. It is the modified version of The Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearan ce Scale 3: Internalization subscale (SATAQ-3: Internalization; Thompson et al., 20 04) as mentioned earlier. It is a 5-point Likert-type scale ( 1 = Definitely Disagree 2 = Mostly Disagree 3 = Neither Agree Nor Disagree, 4 = Mostly Agree, 5 = Definitely Agree ) to tap into the degree to which males internalize sociocultural ideals, compare females to media portrayed sociocultural ideals,
22 and wish that females in the real world would look like such ideals The Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised (ASI-R; Cash, Melnyk, & Hrabosky, 2004) is a revision of the Appear ance Schemas Inventory by Cash and Labarge (1996). The ASI-R is a 5-point Likert-type scale that taps into core beliefs and assumptions that a respondent has regardi ng the importance, meaning, and effects of ones appearance in his/her life, as well as the motivational salience of being attractive and managing ones appearance. Respondent s rate their agreement level with 20 statements, such as What I look like is an important part of who I am and Before going out, I make sure that I look as good as I possibly can, from the response range of 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The higher the total score, the higher the appearance schematicity. It has an internal consistency of .90 for males. It has moderate to high convergent validities with some body-image scales (e.g., the Situational Inventory to Body-Image Dysphoria; Cash, 2002) and the internalization scales (e.g., the Sociocultural Attitudes Toward Appearance Questionnaire-3: Intern alization subscale; Thompson et al., 2004). The Message Rating Form (MRF) was adopted from the scale developed and used in the Sperry, Thompson, and Vandello (2 005) study, with a sli ght modification in words and five additional questions. The measure asks participants to (1) rate the quality of the audiotaped information in terms of believability, effectiveness, comprehensiveness, relevance, convincingness, and influence on a 5point Likert type scale, and (2) answer to five multiple-choice questions regarding the audiotaped information. This ensured that the particip ants pay attention to the contents of the messages and understand the information provi ded in the audiotape. The data of
23 participants who miss three or more answers will be discarded from the study. However, the scores and/or responses indicated in this form were not used in the primary analyses. The Products Rating Scale (PRS) is a three-item meas ure to assess the rating of photo stimuli in terms of attractiveness, likeabi lity, and desirability of them on a 7-point Likert type scale, and there are two types of the scale. One is to assess the exposure stimuli of professional fashion models and th e other is those of various products. Two of the three items are identical regardless of the type of stim uli (e.g., Please rate the visual appeal of the models fashion [e.g., wardrobe, hairstyle, make-up, accessories] vs. Please rate the visual appeal of the produc t). However, the last item for the slides of fashion models requires the participants to rate the extent to which they would like the models fashion for their signi ficant other whereas the one fo r the slides of products to rate the extent to which they would like the product for th emselves. The participants responses on this scale were not used in the primary analysis. The Rating Scales of Romantic Relationship (RSRR) assesses average-looking females in the set of slides in terms of attract iveness and desirability as a romantic partner. It consists of three items rega rding physical attractiveness, se xual desirability, and a wish to date the female in a slide. Participants are required to indicate to what extent they agree with the statements by using a 7-poi nt Likert type scale (response range is 1 = Strongly Agree to 7 = Strongly Disagree ). The lower total scores indicate the higher levels of rated attractiveness and desirability, and the total scores of this scale will be used as dependent variable.
24 Results Preliminary Analyses A one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to ensure that all four groups were equivalent on demographic charact eristics of the participants, namely, age and BMI. As Table 2-A shows, ages and BM Is of participants were not significantly different from each other (F(3,155) = .07, p = .97, and F(3,155) = .86, p = .46, respectively). Moreover, nominal regres sion analysis was conducted to see if participants dichotomous demographic ch aracteristicsethnici ty and relationship statuswere equivalently dist ributed across the conditions. According to Table 2-B, the conditions had statistically similar numb ers of males of ethnic groups and with relationship status, = 8.83, p = .72 for ethnicity and = 22.78, p = .09 for relationship status. Thus, the four conditions had part icipants comparative in their demographic characteristics.
25Table 2-A ANOVA Results of Age and BMI Across Conditions CG1 (n = 42) CG2 (n = 38) CG3 (n = 40) PG (n =39) Variables M ( SD ) M ( SD ) M ( SD ) M ( SD ) t F(3,155) Age 19.86 (2.13) 19. 79 (2.49) 19.68 (1.38) 19.87 (2.19) .97 .07 BMI 25.73 (4.50) 24.62 (3.55) 24.32 (4.45) 24.88 (4.19) .46 .86 Table 2-B Nominal Regression Results of Ethnicity and Relationship Status Across Conditions CG1 (n =42) CG2 (n = 38) CG3 (n = 40) PG (n = 39) Variables n n n n p Ethnicity .72 8.83 Caucasian 24 25 18 23 Hispanic/Latino 9 6 8 7 African-American 6 3 5 4 Asian 2 3 4 4 Other 1 1 5 1 Relationship status .09 22.78 Not seeing anyone 19 13 21 13 Dating not exclusively 11 4 7 8 Dating exclusively 10 20 11 15 Cohabiting 1 0 0 0 Engaged 1 0 1 0 Married 0 1 0 3
26 Collinearity Diagnostics An evaluation of multicollinearity was conduc ted to determine if the inclusion of the interactions of independent variables (IVs) to test our prim ary hypotheses would be appropriate. If multicollinearity existed, it would inflate the variances of the parameter estimates (VIF; Variance Inflation Factor). As two of the variables (the types of audio-information and exposure stimuli) were categorical IVs, they were dummy coded with PG as a reference category. The c ontinuous variables were internalization and schematicity. The results of the collinearity diagnostics are summarized in Table 3-A and 3-B.
27Table 3-A. Collinearity Diagnostics of the Types of Audio-Information, Expos ure Stimuli, and Female-Ideal Internalization as Independent Variables Variables Eigenvalue Condition Index Tolerance Variance Inflation Factor (Constant) 4.58 1.00 Female-Ideal Internalization .92 2.23 .41 2.41 Photo .43 3.26 .05 20.20 Audio-Information .05 9.32 .05 19.75 Photo Female-Ideal .01 20.36 .05 21.93 Internalization Audio-Information .01 25.70 .05 20.70 Female-Ideal Internalization Table 3-B. Collinearity Diagnostics of the Types of Audio-Information, Expos ure Stimuli, and Appearance Schematicity as Independent Variab les Variables Eigenvalue Condition Index Tolerance Variance Inflation Factor (Constant) 4.56 1.00 Appearance Schematicity .96 2.19 .37 2.67 Photo .43 3.24 .03 32.45 Audio-Information .04 11.13 .03 32.50 Photo Appearance Schematicity .01 26.47 .03 33.34 Audio-Information .00 33.72 .03 33.35 Appearance Schematicity
28 We examined the values of Tolerance, where Tolerance = 1 R and R is the coefficient of determination of the regression of that vari able on all other IVs, and Variance Inflation Factor (VIF), where VIF = 1/Tolerance. Th ere are no formal cutoff values of Tolerance or VIF to determine multicollinearity, but the accepted indicators of multicollinearity are an individual VIF greater than 10 and/or Tole rance smaller than .1. According to these widely-accepted indicators, both of the nominal IVs (the types of audio-information and photo exposure stimuli) and thei r interactions with the mode rators (internalization and appearance schematicity) met the criteria of multicollinearity. Therefore, we decided not to include the interacti ons of the IVs and moderators in the following ANCOVAs. We did enter the moderator as a covariate in these analyses, to ensure that any group differences on these variables would be removed from the main effects and interactions of the photo and audio-information conditions. Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) In order to test the primary hypotheses, a series of 2 2 analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were used with the following factors and levels: information (neutral information and psychoeducational informati on) exposure stimuli (daily products and attractive females). The two covariates were female-ideal internalization and appearance schematicity. Criterion measures were the RSRR scores and the rating of ones current partner/relationship. The mean s and standard deviations (SDs) of the criterion measures were summarized in Table 4 and the analysis results are summarized in Table 5-A and 5-B.
29Table 4-A Means and Standard Deviations of the RSRR Scores Across Groups RSRR RSRR Attractiveness RSRR Sexua l Desirability RSRR Wish to Date n M ( SD ) M ( SD ) M ( SD ) M ( SD ) CG1 42 4.30 (.79) 4.07 (.78) 4.25 (.77) 4.59 (.96) CG2 38 4.77 (.94) 4.63 (1.36) 4.65 (.88) 5.04 (.91) CG3 40 4.61 (1.14) 4.41 (1.16) 4.53 (1.22) 4.91 (1.16) PG 39 4.65 (.96) 4.52 (1.03) 4.59 (1.00) 4.85 (.99) Table 4-B Means and Standard Deviations of the Post-Exposure Ratings of Current Relationship Across Groups Partners Attractiveness Partner s Weight Relationship Satisfaction n M ( SD ) M ( SD ) M ( SD ) CG 14 1 1.50 (.65) 3.71 (.83) 1.71 (.91) CG2 23 1.70 (.76) 3.70 (.97) 1.43 (.51) CG3 14 1.29 (.47) 3.86 (.66) 1.29 (.47) PG 21 2.10 (1.67) 3.71 (.72) 1.57 (.98)
30Table 5-A ANCOVA Results of the RSRR Scores Across Groups with Female-Idea l Internalization Levels and A ppearance Schematicity Levels as Covariates RSRR RSRR Attractiveness RSRR Sexual Desirability RSRR Wish to Date Covariates F(3,15 5) p P F (3,155) p P F(3,155) p P F (3,155) p P Female-Ideal Internalization 2.61 .11 .02 2.79 .10 .02 .33 .57 .00 5.08 .03 .03 Appearance Schematicity .14 .71 .00 .01 .95 .00 .36 55 .00 .18 .67 .00 Photo Stimulus 3.38 .07 .02 4.52 .04 .03 2.34 .13 .02 2.11 .15 .01 Audio-Information .35 .55 .00 41 .52 .00 .43 .51 .00 .13 .72 .00 Photo Audio-Information 2.47 .12 .02 2.12 .15 .01 1.29 .26 .01 3.27 .07 .02 Note: Those in bold had p-values less than .1, those in itali cs had p-values between .1 and .15. Table 5-B ANCOVA Results of the Current Relationshi p Ratings After an Experiment Across Gro ups with the Current Relationship Ratings Before an Experiment, Female-Ideal Internal ization Levels, and Appearance Sche maticity Levels as Covariates Partners Attractiveness Partners Weight Relationship Satisfaction Covariates F(3,64) p P F( 3,64) p P F(3,64) p P (Pre-Ratings of Current Relationship 16. 25 .00 .21 27.21 .00 .31 13.65 .00 .18) Female-Ideal Internalization .89 .35 .01 4.53 .04 .07 .14 .71 .00 Appearance Schematicity .11 74 .00 1.52 .22 .02 .08 .79 .00 Photo Stimulus 1.96 .17 .03 2.66 .11 .04 .10 .75 .00 Audio-Information 1.76 19 .03 .12 .73 00 .41 .53 .01 Photo Audio-Information 2.30 .14 .04 1.04 .31 .02 1.05 .31 .02 Note: Those in bold had p-values less than .1, those in ita lics had p-values between .1 and .15.
31 As Table 4-A indicates, there was a marg inally significant effect of the photo stimulus for the RSRR total scores, F(3,155) = 3.38, p = .07, P = .02. That is, males who were exposed to the imag es of attractive females befo re evaluating average-looking females were more likely to rate the averag e females as less appealing in general than those who were exposed to the daily products, regardless of th e type of audio-information they were provided with before the exposure stimuli. Closer examination of the RSRR scores by dividing them to three subscalesAttractiveness, Sexual Desirabi lity, and Wish to Dateyielded a few significant and marginal effects. There wa s a main effect of photo stimulus on the RSRR Attractiveness subs cale, F(3,155) = 4.52, p < .05, P = .03. That is, those who were exposed to the images of fashi on models found average-looking females less physically attractive compared to those who were exposed to the daily products, regardless of the types of audio-informati on they received at the beginning of an experiment. The mean RSRR Attractiveness sc ores of those who viewed the photos of fashion models was 4.59 ( SD = .13) and of those who viewed the photos of daily products was 4.22 ( SD = .12), with a lower score indicating a better evaluation. There was also a marginally significant interaction between photo stimulus and audiotape, F(3,155) = 3.27, p = .07, P = .02, for the RSRR Wish to Date subscale. The order of the RSRR Wish to Date subscale scores across the conditions was as following, and the lower the score, the better the rating: CG1 ( M = 4.59, SD = .96) < PG ( M = 4.85, SD = .99) < CG3 ( M = 4.91, SD = 1.16) < CG2 ( M = 5.04, SD = .91) (Table 5). This suggests that thos e who were provided with the neutral audio-information and exposed to the pictures of daily products had the highest interest in
32 dating the average-looking females, followe d by those who were provided with the psychoeducational information and exposed to the pictures of fashion models, those who were provided with the psychoeducational information and exposed to the pictures of daily products, and those who were provided with the neutral audio-information and exposed to the pictures of fashion models. As CG1 and CG2 were provided with the same audio-information (i.e., marketing stra tegies) but exposed to different photo stimuli (i.e., daily products vs. fashion models), the adverse influence of the media exposure on males evaluation of average females seemed to be salient. In terms of the covariates, there was a signi ficant effect for the interest in dating variable, F(3,155) = 5.08, p < .05, P = .03. That is, the males with higher internalization scores expressed less intere st in dating average-looking females. There were no significant main effect s or interactions for the current partner/relationship measures. There was one significant covariate effect for internalization, F(3,64) = 4.53, p < .05, P = .07, on the rating of a current partners perceived weight, indicating th at participants with a higher internalization level rated their partner as heavier.
33 Discussion From (heterosexual) males perspectiv e, attractive females are preferred romantic partners, especially when the leve l of involvement is still low (Buunk, Dijkstra, Fetchenhauer, & Kenrick, 2002). In additi on, most males in a study reported their ideal female to be slightly below the national average in their weight (Stake & Lauer, 1987), and males were twice as likely as thei r female counterparts to refuse to date someone due to her weight (Harris, Walters & Waschull, 1991). Thus, the appearances of females in our society have been sc rutinized and evaluated (Wiederman, 2000), especially in the mate selection process, which often leads to the development of body image disturbance among females, which in turn results frequently in their eating problems and psychological dysfuncti oning (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). However, this standard of female attractiveness is not an absolute value; rather, the standard of female attract iveness in our society has been molded by the glorification and recurrent pres entation of certain female images via the media. Viewers, including males in general, have cognitively developed the images of ideal females based on the media female images and internalized the images, then compare females in general to such idealized female image and evaluate how close to the ideal the females are. When the females are substantially deviated from the ideal, males may evaluate them as unattractive and lose their interest in meeting them. The direct adverse effect of the media exposure on females in terms of their body image and psychological functioning has been supposed and supported by various
34 researches. However, this effect may be overshadowed by their daily interactions with others (Cossrow, Jeffery, & McGuire, 2001; Nichter & Nichter, 1991) as their peers and romantic partners may be implicated in their body image disturba nce, dieting, and low self-esteem (Murray, Touyz, & Beumont, 1995; Ni chter, 2000). In fact, one of the most important causes of body dissatisfaction among females is negative appearance-related feedback, such as teasing (Rieves & Cash, 1996). Romantic partners may be especially crucial referents of social feedback that influence females self-evaluations (Swann, Rentfrow, & Guinn, 2003), and many males in a study admitted that they have made a weight-related comment to females in the pa st (Murray et al., 1995). Moreover, a large number of females in the same study stated that males have had effect on their eating habits, exercise, or body image. Thus, wei ght and appearance-rela ted criticism from romantic partners have particular signifi cance and influence on self -esteem and behaviors of females. It is reasonable to assume that unre alistic expectations and evaluations of females cultivated by the heavy media portrayal of thin and attractive females result in hurtful teasing and stereotyping about female s weight and appearance (Hargreaves & Tiggemannn, 2003). Such weightand app earance-related negative feedback and attitudes may be more likely from individuals with particular characteristics, such as those with the female-ideal internalization a nd appearance schematicity, and in particular contexts, such as immediately after the e xposure to the media. Nevertheless, this speculation has not been empirically examined much in the past. Therefore, our study tested if males would evaluate average fema les in less favorable way after being exposed to images of exceptionally attractive females, if particular predispositional characteristics
35 related to the media exposure influence am ong females would affect the media exposure effect among males, and if the provision of the media literacy as psychoeducation would reduce the adverse effect of th e media exposure on males. The results of our study partially sup port our hypotheses. There seems a tendency for males to evaluate average-look ing females as less appealing after being exposed to exceptionally attractive media fema le images. Moreover, an average female stranger is perceived to be less physically attractive immediatel y after the exposure, compared to when being exposed to the images of inanimate objects. This finding is comparative of that of past studies (e. g., Kenrick & Gutierres, 1980). Therefore, the media exposure may be a source producing lowe r ratings of female strangers physical attractiveness among males. The types of photo exposure stimuli and audio-information given before the exposure seem to have a marginal interac tive influence on males interest in dating average-looking females. However, a closer examination reveals that a difference lies between the males who are provided with the neutral audio-information and exposed to the images of daily tools and the ma les who are provided with the same audio-information but exposed to the imag es of media females, implying that the provision of psychoeducational audio-information before the exposure has no significant effect to reduce the adverse media exposure effect. Thus, we may need to develop a more effective prevention technique, such as the implementation of visual stimuli as the psychoeducational strategy. As for the predispositional characteris ticsinternalization and appearance schematicityappearance schematicity was not found to be significantly influential for
36 how males evaluate the appearances of female s in an experimental photo set or their own current partner. On the other hand, the female-ideal internalization seems to be associated with the evaluation of average females in terms of the interest in dating as well as the perceived weight of the current partner. That is, when males have the high levels of the internalization of sociocultural female-ideal, they tend to express less interest in dating average-looking female strangers compar ed to those with the low levels of the internalization. In addition, th ey are more likely to perceive their partners weight as heavier after the experiment. Limitations There are a few limitations to this study that need to be taken into consideration when interpreting the findings. First, we in terpret the meaning and effect of the findings of the study based on the fact that males negative commentary about the appearance of females lead to the development of body image disturbance and low self-esteem among the females. However, we cannot know if the cognitive disapproval of females appearance leads to actual expression of the disapproval via criticism or teasing. In the future study, if the cognitive evaluation truly re sults in verbal or be havioral expression of it needs to be examined. Second, we initially wanted to evaluate the moderating effects of internalization and schematicity. However, multicollinearity was a significant issue, making this analysis inappropriate. Third, the number of males who were currently in a romantic relationship was relatively small, and thus the analyses of the evaluation of a curre nt partner after the media exposure may not have had an adequate power to detect true significances.
37 Last, there is a possibility of the rest riction of range in the rating of the relationship satisfaction. The mean of the relationship satisfaction before the experiment is 1.55 ( SD = .66) and after the experiment is 1.50 ( SD = .75) when the response range is from 1 (Very Satisfied) to 5 (Very Unsatisfied). Even when the satisfaction level increased after the experime nt for those in control groups, it would not be reflected on the numeric expression on th is scale as their pre-exposure rating was already close to the highest (i.e., smallest) value. Moreover, there was only one item to evaluate the quality of a cu rrent romantic relationship. Conclusion The appearances of females are constan tly compared to the socioculturally accepted standard and evaluated based on the comparison. However, this standard is often unrealistically thin and attractive as it has been founded on the accumulated images of media portrayed females. The appearance evaluation is mostly salient in the mate selection process, especially for males w ho emphasize the physical attractiveness in mates (Buunk et al., 2002). In fact, much of young adulthood is occupied with (potential) mate selection and evaluation, a nd romantic involvements dominate social life (Collins & Laursen, 2000). In the mate sele ction process, however, males often lose interest in females when they do not meet th e standard of attractiveness. Even in an already established relationship, romantic pa rtners frequently ev aluate and comment on each others weight and appearance, and reasonably enough males make more negative weight and appearance related commentary, such as teasing, than females. Because compared to females whose romantic partners tell them to gain weight or nothing at all about weight, females whose romantic partners tell them to lose weight are less satisfied
38 with their relationship regardless of their ac tual weight (Buunk et al., 2002), and because negative appearance-related commentary has a strong detrimen tal influence on the development of ones body image, eating behavior, and psycho logical well-being (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-D unn, 1999), the mechanism of the negative evaluation of females in general should be disentangled and prevented. However, we still do not know how the cognitive disappr oval of the appearances of females is expressed among males after the reference point or standard of female-ideal has been formed by the media, nor do we know if th e cognitive disapproval is prerequisite to actual expression of the disapproval via criticism or teasi ng. The cognitive devaluation and verbal or behavior al expression of it need to be pr evented to protect females from suffering body dissatisfaction and low self-est eem. At the same time, this prevention should lead males to have rea listic expectations for females in general, thus maintaining adequate interest in females in their e nvironment. Thus, the prevention should be examined further as it may lead to better and healthier intimate life for both males and females in our society.
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46 Appendix A: Male Internalization of the Female Ideal Questionnaire Please check one : Are you currently involved in a roman tic relationship (including marriage)? ___ Yes ___ No If you check Yes, please do both SECTION I and SECTION II If you check No, please do both SECTION I and SECTION II, but do SECTION II by hypothesizing that you are in a romantic relationship (i.e., answer what youd do/feel if you were in a romantic relationship). DIRECTIONS : Please use the scale below to rate your agreement with the following statements. SECTION I: 1. I wish more women looked as athl etic as the women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 2. I wish more women looked as athletic as sports stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 3. I compare most womens bodies to those of women in good shape. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 4. I compare most womens bodies to those of women who are athletic. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree
47 5. I would like more womens bodies to look like the women on TV. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 6. I would like more womens bodies to look like the models in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 7. I would like more womens bodies to look like the women in movies. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 8. More women should try to look like the women on TV. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 9. I compare most womens bodies to the bodies of TV and movie stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 10. I compare most womens appearances to the appearances of TV and movie stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree
48 11. I do not compare most womens bodies to the bodies of women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 12. I compare most womens appearances to the appearances of women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree SECTION II: 13. I wish my partner/significant other looked as athletic as the women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 14. I wish my partner/significant other looked as athletic as sports stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 15. I compare my partners/significant others body to those of women in good shape. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree
49 16. I compare my partners/significant others body to those of women who are athletic. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 17. I would like my partners/significant others body to look like the women on TV. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 18. I would like my partners/significant others body to look like the models in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 19. I would like my partners/significan t others body to look like the women in movies. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 20. My partner/significant other shoul d try to look like the women on TV. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree
50 21. I compare my partners/significant othe rs body to the bodies of TV and movie stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 22. I compare my partners/significant othe rs appearance to the appearances of TV and movie stars. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 23. I do not compare my partners/signifi cant others body to the bodies of women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree 24. I compare my partners/significant ot hers appearance to the appearances of women in magazines. 1 2 3 4 5 Definitely Mostly Neither Mostly Definitely Disagree Disagree Agree Agree Agree Nor Disagree
51 Appendix B: Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised The statements below are beliefs that people may or may not have about their physical appearance and the influence of appearance on life. Decide the extent to which you personally disagree or agree with each statement and en ter a number from 1 to 5. There are no right or wrong answers. Just be truthful about your personal beliefs. 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree Mostly Disagree Neither Agree or Disagree Mostly Agree Strongly Agree _____ 1. I spend little time on my physical appearance. _____ 2. When I see good-looking people, I wonder about how my own looks measure up. _____ 3. I try to be as physica lly attractive as I can be. _____ 4. I have never paid much atte ntion to what I look like. _____ 5. I seldom compare my appearance to that of other people I see. _____ 6. I often check my appearance in a mirror just to make sure I look okay. _____ 7. When something makes me feel good or bad about my looks, I tend to dwell on it. _____ 8. If I like how I look on a given day, its easy to feel happy about other things. _____ 9. If somebody had a negative reaction to what I look like, it wouldnt bother me. _____ 10. When it comes to my physical appearance, I have high standards. _____ 11. My physical appearance has had little influence on my life. _____ 12. Dressing well is not a priority for me. _____ 13. When I meet people for the firs t time, I wonder what they think about how I look.
52 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree Mostly Disagree Neither Agree or Disagree Mostly Agree Strongly Agree _____ 14. In my everyday life, lots of thi ngs happen that make me think about what I look like. _____ 15. If I dislike how I look on a given day, its hard to feel happy about other things. _____ 16. I fantasize about what it would be like to be better looking than I am. _____ 17. Before going out, I make sure th at I look as good as I possibly can. _____ 18. What I look like is an im portant part of who I am. _____ 19. By controlling my appearance, I can control many of the social and emotional events in my life. _____ 20. My appearance is responsible for much of whats happened to me in my life.
53 Appendix C-1: Message Rating Form (Marketing Strategies) Please answer the following questions rega rding the audiotaped information. (Circle number) 1) How believable was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 highly somewhat undecided somewhat highly unbelievable unbelievable believable believable 2) How effective was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 highly somewhat undecided somewhat highly ineffective ineffective effective effective 3) How easy to understand was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very difficult difficult easy easy 4) How relevant was the audiotaped information to you? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very irrelevant irrelevant relevant relevant 5) How convincing was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very unconvincing unconvincing convincing convincing 6) How influential was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very un influential uninfluential influential influential
54 Please answer to the following questions based on what you learned from the audiotape. 1. The primary purpose of companies and organizations when using advertisements is a. to persuade consumers to buy their products and services. b. to educate society regarding the environmental issues. c. to understand human nature. d. to criticize their enemies. 2. Since a number of different messages compete for potential consumers attention, marketers may: a. distribute money to potential consumers to obtain their favors. b. use gory images in advertisements to obtain attention. c. repeat advertisements extensively. d. not even try to advertise. 3. Consumers are persuaded by a. logical arguments. b. emotional or symbolic appeals, such as music and colors. c. both of the above d. none of the above 4. Snack advertisements are usually schedul ed at late in the afternoon because a. that is when the most people are hungry in a day. b. that is when the largest numb er of people watch television. c. that is when children come back from school. d. that is when the cost of advert ising on television is the lowest. 5. The take-home message of Dr. Seal is that it is important for us to a. be fully aware of tricks marketers are using in order to avoid purchasing unnecessary yet appealing products and become more educated and well-informed consumers. b. boycott the products of the companies that uses tricks to persuade innocent consumers. c. tell our friends and family about the tri cks marketers often use so that they will not be ripped off by such marketers and companies. d. study to become marketers because they make a lot of money.
55 Appendix C-2: Message Rating Form (Psychoeducational Information) Please answer the following questions rega rding the audiotaped information. (Circle number) 7) How believable was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 highly somewhat undecided somewhat highly unbelievable unbelievable believable believable 8) How effective was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 highly somewhat undecided somewhat highly ineffective ineffective effective effective 9) How easy to understand was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very difficult difficult easy easy 10) How relevant was the audiotaped information to you? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very irrelevant irrelevant relevant relevant 11) How convincing was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very unconvincing unconvincing convincing convincing 12) How influential was the audiotaped information? 1 2 3 4 5 very somewhat undecided somewhat very un influential uninfluential influential influential
56 Please answer to the following questions based on what you learned from the audiotape. 1. Professional fashion models appear to be flawless and perfect because a. they really are fl awless and perfect. b. they have had plastic surgery to create the perfect looks. c. they are in fact not human beings but mannequins. d. professional make-up artists and hairstylists work on them to create the flawless looks. 2. Air brushing is a pr ofessional technique to a. make the surface of a picture smooth. b. erases any flaws in the models in pictur es such as wrinkles, blotches, and even bulges. c. dry a models hair. d. create shadow in a picture. 3. Which of the following is the technique that swimsuit models use? a. pose slightly to the side with one leg c oncealing the other since the front of the thigh is flabby b. suck in their stomach really hard to make it look flat c. tape their stomach underneat h the swimsuit to stretch and flatten their stomach d. all of the above 4. Where can we find women with no flaw (e .g., blemish, wrinkle, flabby thigh) in their physical appearance? a. everywhere b. only at exclusive shopping malls c. in college classrooms d. only in the media 5. The take-home message of Dr. Seal is that a. media images of attractive women are fake and inappropriate standards for attractiveness, thus we should not be fooled by such images. b. only perfect women can b ecome fashion models. c. all women should try as hard as possible to lose weight to overcome genetic factors that determine th eir natural body shape. d. we should date fashion models because they are flawless.
57 Appendix D-1: Products Ra ting Scale (Tools/Products) Product 1 1. Please rate the product's visual appeal using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Very Appealing Moderately Appealing Slightly Appealing Av erage Slightly Unappealing Moderately Unappealing Very Unappealing 2. Please rate the likeability of the product using the scal e below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Very Likeable Moderately Likeable Slightly Likeable Av erage Slightly Dislikeable Moderately Dislikeable Very Dislikeable 3. Please rate how much youd like to own the product for yourself using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|--------------| Very Much Like To Moderately Like To Slightly Like To Neutral Slightly NOT Like To Moderately NOT Like To Very Much NOT Like To (The items were repeated.)
58 Appendix D-2: Products Rati ng Scale (Fashion Items) Product 1 4. Please rate the visual appeal of the model's fashion (e.g., wardrobe, hairstyle, make-up, accessories) using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Very Appealing Moderately Appealing Slightly Appealing Average Slightly Unappealing Moderately Unappealing Very Unappealing 5. Please rate the likeability of the models fashion (e.g., wardrobe, hairstyle, make-up, accessories) using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Very Likeable Moderately Likeable Slightly Likeable Average Slightly Dislikeable Moderately Dislikeable Very Dislikeable 6. Please rate how much youd like your significant other to wear the model's fashion (e.g., wardrobe, hairstyle, make-up, accessori es) using the scale be low (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Very Much Like Her To Moderately Like Her To Slightly Like Her To Neutral Slightly NOT Like Her To Moderately NOT Like Her To Very Much NOT Like Her To (The items were repeated.)
59 Appendix E: Rating Scales of Romantic Relationship INSTRUCTION: Please indicate how much you agr ee with each statement below by using the given scale (circle a number). If you are currently in a relationship, please answer to each question by imagining how you would answer if you were not in a relationship. Picture 1 7. I think the woman in the slide is physically attractive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Slightly Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree 8. I think the woman in the slide is sexually desirable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Slightly Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree 9. Id like to date the woman in the slide. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |---------------|--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------| Strongly Agree Moderately Agree Slightly Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Slightly Disagree Moderately Disagree Strongly Disagree (The items were repeated.)
60 Appendix F: Demographic Questionnaire PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON ANY OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE MATERIALS 1. Your Age: _____ (years) 2. Your Education (please circle one): Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Graduate Student 3. Your Race/Ethnicity (please circle one): Asian African-American Hispanic/Latino Caucasian Other 4. Your Height: _____ feet and _____ inches 5. Your Current Weight: ______ pounds 6. Your Sexual Orientation (please check one ): ___ Exclusively heterosexual ___ Mostly heterosexual ___ Equally heterosexual and homosexual ___ Mostly homosexual ___ Exclusively homosexual RELATIONSHIP HISTORY 7. Your Current Marital Stat us (please circle one): Never Married Married Se parated Divorced Widowed 8. Please check one that best describes your curre nt relationship status: ___ Not dating anyone ___ Dating, but not any one person in particular ___ Dating one person exclusively ___ Cohabiting ___ Engaged ___ Married PLEASE GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE IF YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP
61 9. What is the length of your re lationship with your partner? _______ years (and) _______ mont hs (and) _______ weeks 10. Your Partners Age: _____ (years) 11. Your Partners Race/Ethnicity (please circle one): Asian African-American Hispanic/Latino Caucasian Other 12. Please rate your Partners appearance by using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |-------------|------------|------------|------------|------------|-------------| Very Moderately Slightly Average Slightly Moderately Very Underweight Underweight Underweight Overweight Overweight Overweight 13. Please rate your Partners appearance by using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |-------------|------------|------------|------------|------------|-------------| Very Moderately Slightly Average Slightly Moderately Very Attractive Attractive Attractive Unattractive Unattractive Unattractive 14. How satisfied are you with your relationship with your partner? (Please circle one.) 1 2 3 4 5 |----------------|----------------|-----------------| -----------------| Very Mostly Neither Satisfied Mostly Very Satisfied Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied
62 Appendix G-1: Transcript for Marketing Strategies Audio-Information Hello, I am Dr. Rob Seal, a professo r and psychologist at Old Dominion University. I have spent most of my professional career con ducting research and counseling on the topic of consumer behavi or. Consumer behavior refers to the processes that individuals, groups or organizations use to sele ct, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experien ces, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society. Today I want to talk candidly and give you the facts about the marketing strategies used by those in marketing industry. First, most marketing firms and organiza tions improve their marketing strategies by understanding issues such as: one, the psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select from a wide va riety of alternatives such as different brands or products; two, the psychology of how the consumer is infl uenced by his or her environment such as culture, family, friends, signs, and advertisem ent; and three, limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities that influence decisions and marketing outcome. Understanding these issues helps th em adapt their strate gies by taking the consumer into consideration. For example, by understanding that a number of different messages compete for their potent ial customers attention, they learn that to be effective, advertisements must usually be repeated exte nsively. They also learn that consumers will sometimes be persuaded more by logical arguments, but at other times, or most of the times, will be persuaded more by emotional or symbolic appeals, such as music and colors. By understanding the consumer, ma rketers will be able to make a more informed decision as to which st rategy to employ for what products. Second, marketing firms and organizations must take some important facts regarding consumer behavior into considera tion when advertising for the public. For instance, consumer behavior occurs either fo r the individual, or in the context of a group, as in the case where friends influence what kinds of foods a person eats, or even an organization where people on the job make decisions as to which products the firm should use. Moreover, consumer behavior involves the use and disposal of products. Product use is often of great interest to the marketer, because this may influence how a product is best positioned or how we can encourage increased consumption. At the same time, since many environmental problems result from product disposal such as motor oil being sent into sewage systems to sa ve the recycling fee, or garbage piling up at landfills, this is also an area of interest for the marketers. They may want to appeal to consumers by emphasizing how their products and companies are not harmful to the environment. There are some applications of such consumer behavior. For example, by understanding that consumers are more recep tive to food advertising when they are hungry, they learn to schedule snack advert isements late in th e afternoon, a few hours before a dinner, like 3 or 4 o clock, rather than 5 oclock in the morning. In addition, by understanding that new products are usually initially adopted by a few consumers and only spread later, and then onl y gradually, to the rest of th e population, they learn that companies that introduce new products must be we ll financed so that they can stay afloat until their products become a co mmercial success, and it is important to please initial customers, since they will in turn influence many subsequent customers brand choices. Now, lets talk about what actually motivates the customer. We considered
63 some perspectives on behavior as a way to understand consumer motivation, and each of these perspectives suggests different things as to what the marketer should do and what can, and cannot, be controlled. First, the Hard Core Behavioral perspective is based on learning theories such as operant and classical conditioning. These theo ries suggest that consumers must learn from their own experiences. For example, in order to avoid getting sick from overeating, a consumer must experience the stomach a nd other ailments resulting from gluttony rather than merely observing other people who overeat and get sick. This suggests, then, that it is important to reward good behavior to the extent possible. Hard core behaviorists tend to look at observable behavi or such as buying our brand or buying another rather than trying to find out what is going on inside the heads of consumersthat is, hard core behaviorists do not like to mess with "mushy" things like attitudes. Second, the Social Learning Perspective in contrast, allows for vicarious learningthat is, learning obtai ned by watching others gett ing good or bad consequences for behavior. The models that may be observed and imitated include peers and family members as well as relevant others that ma y be observed in advertising. From our study of social influences, we know that certain people are more likely to be imitated than others especially those that are more simila r to ourselves based on relevant factors such as age, social status, or ethnic group. Consider, for example, the poor man who is rejected by women because of his dandruff until he gets "with it" and uses Head n Shoulders shampoo. Other dandruff sufferers are likely to learn from the models experience. Generally, observations are made of overt be havior, but some room is made for individual reasoning in learning from others This perspective is clearly more realistic than that of the "Hard Core" view. Last, the Rational Expectations perspective is based on an economic way of looking at the World. Economists assume that people think rati onally and have perfect information, even though they know very well that these assu mptions are often unrealistic. However, despite the unrealisti c assumptions made, economists often make relatively accurate predicti ons of human behavior. Thus, many people, firms, and organizations use various strategies to convince consumers that their products will improve th eir health, intellectual capacity, and even the quality of their life as a whole. It is therefore very impor tant for us to be fully aware of such tricks they are using in order to avoid purchasing unnece ssary yet appealing products and become more educated a nd well-informed consumers through the understanding of the mechanisms of marketing industry. I hope that the information I have given you today will benefit you in your life, now and in the future.
64 Appendix G-2: Transcript for Ps ychoeducational Audio-Information Hello, I am Dr. Rob Seal, a professo r and psychologist at Old Dominion University. I have spent most of my professional career con ducting research and counseling on the topic of body image and female physique. Body image refers to how we feel about our physical appearance. Toda y I want to talk ca ndidly and give you the facts about the fashion-model im ages of women that appear everywhere in our media. As youve surely noticed, these models skin seems perfect; its evenly toned and free of blemishes. Models bodies seem perfect; they do not have fat, bulges, or problem areas. These models seem to have perfect faces to go with their perfect bodies. Women often wonder, Why cant I look like that? Most women in our country feel bad about their physical appearan ce. They either feel they are overweight, or they hate certain parts of their bodies such as their th ighs, hips, or faces. In any case, most women in America wish that they were thinne r and more physically at tractive, just like fashion models. Let me start by giving you a quick test In your mind, picture the typical fashion model that youve seen in ads and ma gazines. When is the last time you saw someone who looked liked this on campus, in a class, or walking down the street? Chances are you are drawing a blank because this image of perfected beauty is NOT realistic. Put simply, its fake. Let me explain what I mean. Models in magazines like Glamour, Vogue, or Cosmopolitan are worked on by professional make up artists a nd hairstylists for many hours. Expert make up artists use their skills to create define d cheekbones and exotic eyes and to hide blemishes. Yes, like everybody, models have blemishes, dark circles under their eyes, and unevenly toned skin. Models are often covere d in makeup from head to toe. That is the way they get evenly toned skin that is perfectly white or bronze, depending on the co lor of the make up. Each piece of the models hair is individually styled by a professional to make it perfect. Sometimes hairstylists use pieces of cardboard attached to the crown of the scalp to force hair to stay in place. Lighting effects are used to accentuate the mode ls assets and downplay her flaws. Then, literally hundreds of pictures ar e taken, but only the best pictur e is selected to print in a magazine. The selected picture is then air brushed, which is a tech nique that erases any remaining flaws in the picture such as wrinkles, blotches, and even bulges. The end result is a picture of perfected beauty that no woman really looks like, not even the model who posed for the picture. This explains why you never see someone like this walking down the street. This look of perfected beau ty comes after hours of work. In fact, if you were to see this fashion model walking down the street today, you probably would not think that she was a professional model because in real life her body and face are NOT perfect. What IS perfect are the techniques that produce a perf ect, but unrealistic, image. In addition to these deceiving techniques that help create unrealistic images of female beauty, models are usually placed in strategic positions that accentuate their positive characteristics and hide their flaws. For example, when modeling swimsuits, models rarely, if ever, reveal their thighs fr om the front because the front of the thigh is an area that naturally tends to be flabby. In stead, models will ofte n pose slightly to the side often with one leg concealing the flabby part of the other leg. If you just look
65 closely, you will see other poses that are planned to hide problem areas. There are other deceiving techniques to make models bodies appear perfect. Usually models stomachs are stretched out b ecause the model is sucking in her stomach very hard and their stomachs are often flattened by taping them underneath the swimsuit. Another technique to prevent bulges is attachi ng clothespins to the back of models thighs to pull back excess skin. These are also used in the hips and lower back. These techniques give the appearance that the model has a perfectly toned body, free from problem areas. So the truth Im telling you is that these media images of beauty are a lie. The flawless image of women portrayed by the media is NOT real! This image of female beauty does not exist in the real worldit is entirely artificial. A major problem occurs when the media present women with thes e images of flawless beauty. We are bombarded with unrealistic images of female beauty on television, in magazines, and on highway billboards. These images are ever ywhere! Is it any wonder most women are dissatisfied with their bodies and desperat ely wish they could lose some weight? Another reason that images of female at tractiveness in the media are unrealistic is that being as thin and as beautiful as the made up models is not possible for the majority of women. The media have selected one particular body type for womenthinness, they and present thin models everywhere, over and over again. In the media, thinness is presented as if it were the norm. Furthermore, women are led to believe that they should strive to be thin. Is it any wonder that our society is currently obsessed with thinness? Women are often left feeling like they need to be thin and have perfectly sculpted facial and body features in or der to be attractive. I urge you to recognize that the images you see in the media are fake, extreme, and unrealistic. Not even the fashion models themselves look so perfect in their real lives. Dont let the media fool you. Everyone has been accepting this message far too long. Can you imagine thin women who are not especially attractive? Im sure you can. Can you imagine women with normal si zed bodies who look te rrific? Ill bet you can. Can you imagine that who a woman is as a person is more important than whether she looks like an unreal fashion model? I hope that the information I have given you today will benefit you in your life, now and in the future.
About the Author Yuko Yamamiya received a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1999 and a Masters Degree in Psychology from the Old Dominion University in 2002. She received the Asian-Pacific Scholarship throughout her sophomore, junior, and senior years at th e University of Hawaii. She joined Phi Beta Kappa in 1998. She entered the Univers ity of South Florida s doctoral program in psychology in the Fall of 2002. Dr. Yamamiya continued her research in the field of body image and its sociocultural factors with Dr. J. Kevin Thompson in the program, and published her works in various scientific j ournals and presented at some professional conferences. She completed a Degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychopathology in the Spring 2007. Dr. Yamamiya moved back to Japan the same year and has continued her research.
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Media exposure and males' evaluation of the appearance of females
h [electronic resource] /
by Yuko Yamimiya.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 65 pages.
ABSTRACT: The adverse effect of the exposure to images of attractive females on women's body image and mood has been well-documented in studies conducted in various western and westernized nations. However, research designed to determine the effect of exposure to attractive female images on men has been rather neglected. Past findings indicate that after being exposed to exceptionally attractive female images, males report less satisfaction for a current relationship, rate average-looking females as less attractive, and express less affection for their significant other compared to those men exposed to control images. It is currently not known, however, whether a psychoeducational intervention might prevent the negative media exposure effect. Additionally, it is not known if the exposure effect might be moderated by dispositional characteristics of the participant.^ ^This study was designed to determine if a psychoeducational manipulation consisting of information regarding the unrealistic appearance standards currently required of women would mitigate the ratings men give of average-looking women following exposure to attractive images. Additionally, two dispositional measures were included (appearance-schematicity and female-ideal internalization) in order to evaluate whether these trait levels would moderate the effects of the exposure manipulation.the participants were 159 male undergraduate students between 18 and 30 years of age. The majority (57%) of them were Caucasian, followed by 19% who were Hispanic/Latino and 11% who were African-American. Their mean age was 19.80 (SD = 2.06) and mean BMI was 24.90 (SD = 4.20). Most of them (42%) were not seeing anyone currently, whereas 39% of them were in a committed relationship. The findings partially supported the hypotheses.^ ^The males who were exposed to the attractive female images evaluated average females less physically attractive than those exposed to a control condition (inanimate objects); however, the psychoeducation did not reduce the adverse exposure effect. Instead, the combination of neutral audio-information and control exposure condition resulted in the most favorable ratings of average females. Regarding dispositional characteristics, female-ideal internalization was associated with the loss of interest in dating average females and the overestimation of a current partner's weight after the experiment. The limitations and implications of the study findings are discussed.
Adviser: J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.