Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Clabaugh

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Moore

Abstract

The following study analyzed the effects of sexually objectifying advertisements on self esteem, self objectification, affect, and restrictive eating behaviors. Previous literature supports the claim that sexual media can negatively impact the mental health of women, which includes variables such as lowered self esteem, higher levels of self objectification and higher levels of restrictive eating behaviors. Purchase intent was also analyzed in regards to objectifying advertisements and neutral advertisements. Forty-two female undergraduate students were recruited and were asked to answer purchase intent questions about six advertisements (either objectifying or neutral). After the advertisement section, questionnaires and an ice cream “taste test” to measure restrictive eating were administered. I predict that those who are shown the objectifying advertisements will report higher levels of self objectification and restrictive eating behaviors, and lower levels of purchase intent, self esteem and affect. I also predict that the strength of the relationship between the advertisements and mental health outcomes will depend on the level of social comparison each participant reports.

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The Effects of Sexual Advertisements on Women’s Mental Health and Marketing

The following study analyzed the effects of sexually objectifying advertisements on self esteem, self objectification, affect, and restrictive eating behaviors. Previous literature supports the claim that sexual media can negatively impact the mental health of women, which includes variables such as lowered self esteem, higher levels of self objectification and higher levels of restrictive eating behaviors. Purchase intent was also analyzed in regards to objectifying advertisements and neutral advertisements. Forty-two female undergraduate students were recruited and were asked to answer purchase intent questions about six advertisements (either objectifying or neutral). After the advertisement section, questionnaires and an ice cream “taste test” to measure restrictive eating were administered. I predict that those who are shown the objectifying advertisements will report higher levels of self objectification and restrictive eating behaviors, and lower levels of purchase intent, self esteem and affect. I also predict that the strength of the relationship between the advertisements and mental health outcomes will depend on the level of social comparison each participant reports.

 
 

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