Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 9–10, pp 703–714 | Cite as

Breasts Are for Men: Media, Masculinity Ideologies, and Men’s Beliefs About Women’s Bodies

  • L. Monique Ward
  • Ann Merriwether
  • Allison Caruthers
Original Article


Although masculinity ideology (MI) has been shown to predict men’s sexual risk-taking, less is known about MI’s contribution to men’s beliefs about women and their sexual bodies. Accordingly, we examined associations between masculine ideology, media consumption, and men’s attitudes about women’s reproductive body functions among a sample of 656 undergraduate men. Participants completed measures assessing their endorsement of traditional gender ideologies, their levels of media exposure and engagement, and their attitudes toward childbirth and breastfeeding. It was hypothesized that media use would contribute to traditional MI, and that traditional MI would contribute to negative views about breastfeeding and childbirth. Results supported these individual connections, but not a mediated model. Discussion focuses on implications of these findings for women’s lives.


Masculinity Media Television Breastfeeding attitudes Childbirth attitudes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Monique Ward
    • 1
  • Ann Merriwether
    • 2
  • Allison Caruthers
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.SUNYBinghamtonUSA
  3. 3.Child and Family CenterUniversity of OregonPortlandUSA

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