Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 431-442

First online:

UV photography, masculinity, and college men’s sun protection cognitions

  • Laura A. WalshAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The George Washington University Email author 
  • , Michelle L. StockAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The George Washington University

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This study examined the impact of an ultraviolet (UV) photography intervention and masculinity on college men’s sun protection cognitions, including: perceived vulnerability to skin damage, attitudes toward sun protection, willingness to engage in sun protection behaviors, and intentions to receive a skin cancer exam. After completing a baseline survey, participants (N = 152) viewed a black-and-white photo of their face. Half also viewed a photo showing their UV damage. Participants then completed a second survey assessing sun protection cognitions. Regressions revealed that masculinity predicted lower sun protection cognitions, and men in the UV photograph condition reported higher sun protection cognitions. Masculinity by condition interactions showed that the positive effect of UV photography was stronger among masculine men. Negative associations between masculinity and sun protection cognitions were significant only among men who did not receive the intervention. Findings suggest that UV photography is a promising sun protection intervention among masculine men.


Skin cancer Intervention UV photos Masculinity Men’s health