Everywhere you turn, there are magazine covers, movies, reality TV shows that portray woman in a sexual light. When was the last time that we as a society sat down and realized the effect that this is having on young girls, teens and even grown women. The portrayal of women as sexual objects in these and many other types of media have greatly affected the mindset of society. What affects has this had you ask? There are there main effects that we will explore. First, is the effect it has on their self-image. Second, is the effect on how they portray themselves in their relationships. Third is the effect it has on their mental state. The effect on a woman’s self-image is one of the biggest problems, if not the biggest. The main problem with self-image is that women see themselves as sex objects. This is starting to start at a very young age. According to a study by Knox College in Galesburg, IL, girls as young as six are beginning to think of themselves as sex objects. This study was compiled by asking dozens of girls ages 6 to 9 to choose a doll that looked like themselves, that they wanted to look like, that would be most popular in school, etc. The study concluded that across the board, the girls chose dolls that have been termed “sexy dolls”. These dolls are dressed in tight, revealing clothing. It does not stop there. As these children grow older, young girls and teenagers start to develop an increasing concern with their weight and are unhappy with their bodies. They feel that they must start to look and act like these women they see on such shows as Flavor of Love or in magazines such as Playboy. Most studies have focused on the eating disorders that can arise from this form of objectification such as anorexia and bulimia. These studies have shown that since World War II, popular media has increasingly held up a thinner and thinner body image as an ideal for women. However, more recently the studies
Cited: Botta, Renée. "Media Analysis Book Offers Insightful Perspective on the Portrayal of Women." Sex Roles 58.3-4 (2008): 293-95. Print. Coleman, Breanna. "Media Portrayal of Women." Suite101.com. N.p., 15 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://suite101.com/article/media-portrayal-of-women-a189870>. "Sociological Images." Effects of the Media Sexualization of Girls and Women". N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/11/06/28478/>. Study: Girls As Young As 6 Are Thinking Of Selves As Sex Objects. CBS. CBS2, Chicago, IL, 18 July 2012. Web. Transcript. "Teen Health and the Media." Teen Health and the Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://depts.washington.edu/thmedia/view.cgi?section=bodyimage>.