Descriptions of women used in men’s magazines are indistinguishable from views expressed by convicted rapists, researchers found in a new study.
When presented with quotes from both, some men actually found themselves identifying more with the views of the sex offender than those espoused by the magazines.
Psychologists say that the study highlights the danger of the sexualization of women in the media and called for moves to deal with the issue.
The results found the magazine descriptions more demeaning than those from the sex offenders, reports the British Psychological Society’s British Journal of Psychology.
Quotes from the sex offenders list included: ‘I think if a law is passed there should be a dress code. When girls dress in those short skirts and things like that they’re just asking for it.’ “Girls love being tied up, it gives them the chance to be the helpless victim.’ Then there’s this one “‘I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them”.
Dr Peter Hegarty, of the University of Surrey, added: ‘There is a fundamental concern that the content of these magazines normalizes the treatment of women as sexual objects.
This problem is bad and getting worse. How are teenage boys and young men supposed to be prepared for a fulfilling love and sex life when they normalize their views from what they read and what they see on porn sites?
Anna van Heeswijk, Campaigns Manager for OBJECT, a human rights campaign group which campaigns against the objectification of women, said: ‘This crucial and chilling piece of research lays bare the hateful messages which seep out of the magazines and indoctrinate young men’s attitudes towards women and girls.
If we are serious, and we should be, about putting an end to discrimination and violence against women and girls, we must stand together and have a very strong voice.
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