While the effects of sexualized media on young women have long been debated, a new study finds that women who read gender-related magazine articles in popular women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to consider premarital sex. as risky behavior. Additionally, women who are exposed to these articles are more supportive of sexual behavior that both empowers women and prioritizes their own sexual pleasure.
This study was published in a recent article by Quarterly Woman Psychology (published by SAGE).
Study authors Janna L. Kim and L. Monique Ward wrote: “When exposed to explicit text messages about women’s sexual assertiveness in women’s magazines, readers considered the ability of women to women to feel and act on feelings of sexual desire more favorably.
To carry out the study, 150 female students were randomly assigned to read articles from two popular magazines: one series on the role of women in sex and the other on unrelated general entertainment. sexual relations.
In addition to finding that the group of women exposed to the sex-related articles endorsed riskier sexual behavior, the researchers found that white women in particular viewed premarital sex as less risky and endorsed a more assertive sex role than women of color.
Kim and Ward concluded: “Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes contradictory representations of female sexuality that proliferate in mass media and popular culture could potentially have both stimulating and problematic effects on the development of women’s sexual identities. women.”
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