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ERIC Number: ED262300
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparison of the Weights and Ages of Women and Men on Television.
Perdue, Lauren; Silverstein, Brett
Eating disorders are more common among women than men, perhaps because of the present cultural emphasis on thinness for women. Television is one potential communicator of this thin standard of attractiveness. To assess how men and women are presented on television, 139 male characters and 82 female characters from 33 popular television shows were rated for weight and age. A weight-rating scale was created from photographs of people which were rated by 12 undergraduate students. The photographs which displayed the highest amount of agreement among raters and which fell on equal intervals on a four-point scale were used; four photographs were of men and four were of women. These eight photographs were rated by 51 college students in a validation procedure. Finally, pairs of undergraduate research assistants were assigned to watch the television shows and record the character's name, weight-rating from the devised scale, sex, age-rating, and race. Pearson correlation coefficients obtained to measure inter-rater reliability were all significant at the .01 level or better. The two scores from the pair of raters were averaged into a single rating. Chi-square analyses of weight and age ratings revealed that women on American television were rated as younger and thinner than men. More research is needed to establish the relationship between cultural pressure to be thin, as reflected in the media, and serious eating disorders. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A