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Eroticizing Men: Cultural Influences on Advertising and Male Objectification


The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the model offered by Thomas Rochon is used to examine how ideas, activism, and changing American values have influenced advertiser practices as they relate to sexualized images of men in mainstream media. Previous research has highlighted the importance of economic shifts on advertiser practices, ignoring the importance of cultural factors, such as the influence of the gay liberation movement on representations of masculinity in the post 1960s era. Second, a quantitative analysis of sexualized depictions of masculinity is presented. These data suggest that men in contemporary advertisements increasingly display the visual cues of objectification. After positioning these sexualized images in a larger social, political, and economic context, the implications of male objectification is discussed.

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Rohlinger, D.A. Eroticizing Men: Cultural Influences on Advertising and Male Objectification. Sex Roles 46, 61–74 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016575909173

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  • gender roles
  • objectification
  • advertisements