Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 7–8, pp 579–589 | Cite as

Women as Sex Objects and Victims in Print Advertisements

  • Julie M. Stankiewicz
  • Francine RosselliEmail author
Original Article


This content analysis examined the depiction of women in 1,988 advertisements from 58 popular U.S. magazines. Advertisements were coded with respect to whether women were presented as sex objects and/or as victims using a scheme developed by the researchers. On average across magazines, one of two advertisements that featured women portrayed them as sex objects. Women appeared as victims in just under ten percent of the advertisements. Men’s, women’s fashion, and female adolescent magazines were more likely to portray women as sex objects and as victims than news and business, special interest, or women’s non-fashion magazines. The implications of viewing advertisements depicting women as sex objects and as victims, especially sexualized victims, are discussed.


Print advertising Content analysis Sexual objectification Victimization 



This research was funded by a Christian A. Johnson Fellowship awarded to the first author from Wesleyan University. In addition, the authors would like to thank Sharron Riley for her assistance in coding advertisements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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