Exposure effects of hegemonic masculinity in men's magazines.
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Beard, Angela J.
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While the effects of viewing narrowly-defined female roles in the media on women’s reported moods and attitudes have been studied for decades, similar studies on men have a shorter history. Hegemonic masculinity prevails in media depictions of men, but the relatively few studies on men and media exposure have yielded as yet inconclusive results. The present study was designed to contribute to the emergent research on men’s responses to brief media exposure. Four hundred sixty-three adult men were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing website, to participate in an experiment on exposure effects of viewing men’s magazine content. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions containing themed magazine content (magazine covers, objectified women, technology and gadgetry, fashionable men, muscular men) or control images of household items. Before and after short-term media exposure, men were tested with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the EDITS Profile of Mood States (EPOMS), the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS), and the Manifest Alienation Measure (MAM). Change scores were calculated for each participant on each measure, and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted to test for differences among mean change scores in each condition. Significant differences were found in change scores for the EPOMS, while no significant differences were found in the RSES, PANAS, GRCS, and MAM. Participants’ EPOMS change scores were further analyzed using ANOVAs across six EPOMS subscales; in post hoc testing, eight pairwise comparisons across four subscales were found to have significant differences. Among the results, participants reported feeling more anger and fatigue, and less vigor, after viewing household items than viewing magazine covers with women on them. Also, men in the study reported more anger and fatigue after viewing male fashion models than viewing magazine covers. Finally, participants reported more vigor after viewing objectified women than viewing household objects. Results and future directions for research were discussed.