ERIC Number: ED238396
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Physical Attractiveness Stereotyping on American Television Programs: A Content Analysis.
Downs, A. Chris; Harrison, Sheila K.
The frequencies of specific types of verbal attractiveness stereotypes portrayed on television commercials and regular programs were determined in two studies. In the first, the 4,294 commercials aired between 8 and 10 p.m. on the 3 major networks were observed during a 7-day period in the spring of 1982. Statements related to attractiveness were recorded and coded according to nine categories: beauty, average, ugly, young, old, weight, figure, look/style, and bright. Results indicated that when all categories were combined, 25.6% of all commercials contained at least one of the attractiveness categories. Female performers and male voiceovers were far more likely to make the statements exhibiting the attractiveness categories than male performers and female voiceovers. In the second study, which focused on 150 weekly television programs, an average of 2.4 statements per hour were recorded that exhibited the attractiveness categories. Across all programming, agents of the statements were usually males, recipients of the statements were more often female than male performers, and the statements more often referred to women. Implications are that television is acting as a powerful promoter of attractiveness stereotypes. Tables show the coding system categories with examples and provide detailed study results. (LMM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Physical Attractiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (San Francisco, CA, April 6-10, 1983).