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Television Portrayals of Women Leads to Gender Harassment

Update Date: Dec 16, 2013 02:28 PM EST

Researchers believe there is a link between gender harassment and the objectification of women in television.

Researchers used video TV shows to see if objectifying women on television leads to harassing behavior.

The study revealed that degrading TV portrayals of women could lead to both gender harassment and sexual coercion intentions.

Researchers explain that this relationship with gender harassment can be partly explained by a shift in masculine norms. Therefore, objectifying TV productions seems to create a normative context conducive to gender harassment, attesting to the responsibility of the mass media in encouraging a climate that is hostile toward women.

 "These conceptions go beyond harassment by men but involve society at large, including responsibilities of women and men to promote a different set of values," researchers Silvia Galdi, Anne Maass, and Mara Cadinu wrote in the study. "On a positive note then, the same TV programs can also promote a change in social and cultural norms, including those related to masculinity, which suggests that they can be used as means to reduce sexual harassment behavior and more generally to promote respect for women and men."

The findings are published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly

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