“A decisive narrowing of media representations of women”
A new study by Erin Hatton, PhD, and Mary Nell Trautner, PhD, assistant professors in the Department of Sociology, Buffalo University, has found sexualised imagery of women has increased a massive 89 percent from the 1960s to the present.
The authors of ‘Equal Opportunity Objectification? The Sexualization of Men and Women on the Cover of Rolling Stone’ studied 1000 images on the covers of Rolling Stone magazine from 1967 to 2009 to see how women and men were represented over these 43 years. While many of us knew things were bad, the stats are still remarkable. As Science Daily reports:
First, representations of both women and men have indeed become more sexualized over time; and, second, women continue to be more frequently sexualized than men. Their most striking finding, however, was the change in how intensely sexualized images of women — but not men — have become.
In the 1960s they found that 11 percent of men and 44 percent of women on the covers of Rolling Stone were sexualized. In the 2000s, 17 percent of men were sexualized (an increase of 55 percent from the 1960s), and 83 percent of women were sexualized (an increase of 89 percent). Among those images that were sexualized, 2 percent of men and 61 percent of women were hypersexualized. “In the 2000s,” Hatton says, “there were 10 times more hypersexualized images of women than men, and 11 times more non-sexualized images of men than of women.”
“…What we conclude from this is that popular media outlets such as Rolling Stone are not depicting women as sexy musicians or actors; they are depicting women musicians and actors as ready and available for sex. This is problematic,” Hatton says, “because it indicates a decisive narrowing of media representations of women.”