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Wednesday, April 22 • 11:00am - 1:00pm
Self-objectification in response to images of performance versus sexualized female athletes

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Previous research indicates that exposure to sexualized media images of females has a negative impact on women’s body satisfaction. Research also indicates that involvement in athletics or sports teams, specifically those that do not require leanness or attractiveness, may lessen women’s negative body image. Building on this research, the current study examined body satisfaction in women, both athletes and non-athletes, after viewing media images of female athletes. Participants were shown one of two types of images: women athletes demonstrating highly skilled or powerful physical movements such as dribbling a basketball or chasing a soccer ball (performance athletes), or women athletes wearing minimal clothing, posing in suggestive ways (sexualized athletes). About 50 female participants from the psychology and health and wellness departments viewed the images and then answered 24 questions assessing levels of self-objectification, body shame, and beliefs about controlling appearance. We expect to see an overall increase in body satisfaction among athletes exposed to performance images and reduced body satisfaction in both athletes and non-athletes exposed to the sexualized images. The results of our study may potentially inform interventions to promote positive body image in women through media literacy or athletic programs.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 11:00am - 1:00pm PDT
Wilma Sherril Center Concourse

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