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Department of Psychology pres.

Developmental Brown Bag: The Costs of Sexy: Exploring the Impact of Media’s Sexualization of Girls and Women

Dr. L. Monique Ward, Developmental Area Chair, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of Psychology

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ABSTRACT
The mainstream media have emerged as a prominent force in the sexual socialization of American youth, with teens consuming nearly 7.5 hours of media a day. However, media portrayals of women are often quite limited, with heavy emphasis on their beauty, sexiness, and sexual appeal. How might regular exposure to this content shape how young women view themselves and their abilities? Most of the existing research testing this question has focused on traditional media, mainly magazines, and on consequences for young women’s mental health. In this talk, I present findings from several studies that extend this work by testing contributions of traditional and social media, and consequences for girls’ and young women’s sexual health, experiences of intimate partner violence, and academic cognitions.
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