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J Youth Adolesc. 2018 Jul;47(7):1440-1455. doi: 10.1007/s10964-018-0844-3. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

How Social and Mass Media Relate to Youth's Self-Sexualization: Taking a Cross-National Perspective on Rewarded Appearance Ideals.

Author information

1
School for Mass Communication Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Jolien.Trekels@kuleuven.be.
2
Department of Communication, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
3
School for Mass Communication Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
4
Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen), Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

Although media exposure has been related to cognitive preoccupation with appearance, research rarely investigated adolescents' behavioral self-sexualization. To address this gap, the present study among 12- to 16-year-olds (Nā€‰=ā€‰1527; 50.2% girls) in Austria, Belgium, Spain, and South-Korea (1) investigates whether different types of media use relate to self-sexualization, (2) explores the explanatory value of rewarded appearance ideals, and (3) considers culture and gender as moderating factors. Despite cultural variation, a general trend of increasing self-sexualization with social media use and magazine reading appeared across the countries. Moreover, women's magazine reading and rewards were related to self-sexualization among all the girls across the countries, which suggests that girls may be more vulnerable to the examined effects. Overall, this study provides a better understanding of the unique contribution of specific media genres to youth's self-sexualization and points at the importance of social media use in girls' and boys' engagement in sexualizing appearance behaviors across four countries.

KEYWORDS:

Cross-cultural; Internalization; Rewards; Self-sexualization; Social media; Traditional media

PMID:
29572779
DOI:
10.1007/s10964-018-0844-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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