Research Nugget #3

The article I decided to write about today is “Check That Body! The Effects of Sexually Objectifying Music Videos on College Men’s Sexual Beliefs.”

APA Citation:

Aubrey, J., Hopper, K., & Mbure, W. G. (2011). Check That Body! The Effects of Sexually Objectifying Music Videos on College Men’s Sexual Beliefs. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 55(3), 360-379. doi:10.1080/08838151.2011.597469

You can find the article here.

This article is all about how the women acting as sex objects in music videos affect how a man will think about women. It has become a trend that women are seen as sex symbols and nothing more. Due to the acceptance of this women are starting to objectify themselves, and it was shown that female music artist are more likely to sexualize themselves than a man would in music videos. Due to the popularity of music videos, especially with teenagers and young adults, it is showing the younger generations how to supposedly treat women and how to view them. An analysis of rap music showed provocative dancing, revealing outfits and acting submissive to the men in the music videos. And it isn’t just male’s videos; women also do this in their own videos with either themselves, or other women. Overall the articles discusses the study they did to see how degrading music videos effect young adult males thinking about women.

Nugget #1

“Because the music videos primed in men the belief that women use their sexuality to their advantage, the related schema, possibly linked in their cognitive networks, might be that women have little basis to complain if men reciprocate the interest, and it goes too far (in terms of violence or sexual harassment). This is consistent with research on the effects of violent pornography suggesting that viewers tend to perceive female victims in sexually violent depictions to be responsible or partially responsible for their treatment (Allen et al., 1995; Wyer et al., 1985). Applied to the current context, in music videos, female music artists have at least some, although certainly not complete, agency in how they represent themselves in their own music videos (Fitts, 2008). Due to industry and cultural expectations, a dominant way that female artists present themselves is through objectification of their own bodies (Aubrey & Frisby, 2011). Thus, seeing popular female artists sexually objectify their bodies in their own music videos might be an effective priming agent in this realm because the female artists are seen as making a choice to objectify themselves and thus are responsible for any sexual advances they experience. Future research will need to directly measure the intervening schemata of responsibility to see if they are being primed as speculated here. Open-ended thought listing is one future methodological avenue that would tap which thoughts were directly primed during viewing.”

In this nugget it discusses the reasoning for why men think sexualizing women is okay. The males that watched these videos, especially the ones by female artist, show them that since they are making the choice to objectify themselves, it is okay for them to objectify women as well. Everything a person watches teaches them something new, and if these provocative music videos are showing people that it is okay to think this about women because they carry themselves that way.  In my past research I have read a lot of the same things, if you treat yourself a certain way, that is how people will see and also treat you the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are a male or a female, even thought this study is focused on the sexualization of women, it happens to everyone and will continue to happen unless the media stops letting people to advertise themselves as objects instead of real people.

Nugget #2

“Following the reasoning that music videos prime a global schema about ad- versarial sexual relations, which, in turn, activate more specific components of the same general schema, the present study also tested whether adversarial sexual beliefs mediate the main relationship between exposure to sexually objectifying music videos and (1) acceptance of interpersonal violence and (2) disbelief in the legitimacy of sexual harassment. The results supported full mediation in both cases, which suggests that adversarial sexual beliefs are stored in schema that also include attributes related to sexual aggression. Still, it is important to point out that the adversarial sexual beliefs and the aggression-related attitudes were measured cross- sectionally; thus, it is not possible to rule out the possibility that the causaldirections between the mediator and the outcome variables are actually reversed.

It is important to note that the effect sizes for the main effects of conditions observed here were relatively small. Thus, it is likely that other factors, including participants’ personality, real-world experiences, and political ideology, certainly have more of an influence on college men’s adversarial sexual beliefs and sexual aggression-related attitudes than short-term exposure to music videos. However, if music videos can be considered as just one medium in the typical college student’s media diet, which might include pornography, sexualized and violent video games, and lad magazines (i.e. Maxim), the media landscape of a typical male college student is likely to be rife with stereotypes and myths related to women’s sexuality. Thus, the relevant question to consider is not whether such schemata are activated but how often they are. “

My second nugget comments on sexual harassment and sexual aggression towards women that is brought on by these music videos and continues into how, since music videos are only a section of the objectifying media male college students are watching (others could include porn, video games, etc.) that music videos aren’t the only thing at fault. Everyone has different experiences that could lead to their own personal thoughts about women, but adding more and more sexual media isn’t going to help stop demeaning thoughts from happening. I wrote earlier about the music video for Blurred Lines, where the main focus is scantily clad girls in nude thongs and sometimes topless.  People have described this song as to talk about rape and making it sound okay, and since the women in the music videos are jumping around happily, grinding on Robyn Thick and Pharrell, viewers are going to accept that this is how women should be treated. Yes, the music videos are entertaining, and I know I am guilty of watching these objectifying videos, but they are changing our society to accept this type of culture of objectifying people.

One thought on “Research Nugget #3”

  1. Okay, from your first nugget: “Applied to the current context, in music videos, female music artists have at least some, although certainly not complete, agency in how they represent themselves in their own music video.” This quote comes from Fitts, 2008. I’ve read the Fitts’ article. Fitts stresses the lack of agency (control) women have in making their own videos. Most video production companies are owned by men, and Fitts discusses the pressure female artists feel to sexualize their videos.
    Check Google Scholar: Mako Fitts “Drop it Like it’s Hot…” (the title is longer, but this should get you to his article). He interviews women in the industry — from dancers, to artists! It’s a must- read! His methods (interviewing the women who work in the industry) is very different from most!

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