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Are Magazines to Blame For the Way Men Treat Women?

mens magazines shape attitude towards womenWe have all heard about how magazines shape the perception of beauty for women and impact the way we think about ourselves, but a new study has found that they may also change the way men think about us as well.

If you’re thinking this is another case about how beauty ads say you should look a certain way, you’re wrong.

This study focused more on how magazines target men rather than the impact that media have on women.

As it turns out many magazine ads that are geared towards men actually encourage hypermasculinity.

Technically hypermasculinity is defined as a “description of men that weaves together toughness, violence, dangerousness and callous attitudes towards women and sex.”

In Layman’s terms it encourages most men to be your typical version of a dog.

It’s not just Playboy type magazines that are enforcing hypermasculinity either.

The author of the study, Megan Vokey of University of Manitoba, and her colleagues analyzed eight magazines that had men as their key audience.

Each magazine had a different target demographic based on age, levels of education and income which gave the researchers more variety and a better understanding of the entire population of men rather than just a select group.

While you might expect a dirty magazine or a hunting magazine to reinforce some type of hyerpmasculinity, some more unexpected magazines were also found to encourage dog-like behavior in men.

Men's magazine ads encourage hypermasculinityMore than half of the 527 ads in the collection of magazines including Golf Digest and Game Informer were guilty of depicting at least one element of hypermasculinity.

The study also revealed that whether or not the magazines contained a lot of hypermasculine ads depended on the demographic of that magazine.

The magazines that were geared towards a less wealthy, less educated and younger male audience were found to be much more likely to include a higher number of ads that encouraged violence, toughness, and a disregard for women.

“The widespread depiction of hypermasculinity in men’s magazine advertising may be detrimental to both men and society at large,” the authors wrote. “Although theoretically, men as a group can resist the harmful aspects of hypermasculine images, the effects of such images cannot be escaped completely.”

In other words, the magazines certainly don’t take full responsibility off the man for the way he views women and violence, but it is still a factor to consider.

So next time you find your man being a bit of a dog, take a quick flip through some of his favorite magazines and see what kinds of ads are in them – you might be a bit surprised with what you find.

 

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