Ads drive aggressiveness among males, study reveals
Toronto, Mar 1 : Magazine ads targeting men may actually end up reinforcing the image of hypermasculinity and the 'macho male', besides driving up aggressiveness among men, says a new study by canadian researchers.
Hypermasculinity is the psychological term for the extreme form of the stereotypical male personality, of which the major components are toughness, risky or violent behavior and callous sexual attitudes towards women.
Megan Vokey, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Manitoba, and her colleagues say that hypermasculine depictions of men, centered on this cluster of beliefs, appear to be commonplace in US magazine ads.
In the study, reported in the journal Sex Roles, Vokey and colleagues, using a range of eight, high-circulation magazines ranging from Golf Digest to Game Informer marketed to men of different ages, levels of education and income, analyzed the ads in magazines where a photograph, picture or symbol of a man was shown.
Further analysis of the data showed that magazines with the highest proportion of hypermasculine ads were aimed at younger, less affluent and less educated men.
Vokey's results are consistent with prior research showing a correlation between hypermasculine beliefs and a host of social and health problems, such as dangerous driving, drug use and violence towards women.
"Men with lower social and economic power are already more likely to use a facade of toughness and physical violence as methods of gaining power and respect," said Vokey.