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Thread: Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

  1. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    Ads Influence Male Body Image Too
    April 27, 2004

    A lot has been written about the effect of skinny models on eating disorders in women. A recent study suggests that men may be similarly influenced by ads. Researchers exposed 158 male college students to television ads that were either "full of lean, muscular and often shirtless young men" or had more neutral content. They found that students who were watched the lean men showed more body dissatisfaction and depression compared with students who watched the neutral commercials.

    Men, Too, Are Sensitive to Media Body Ideals
    April 21, 2004

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Waifish models are often blamed for the poor body image many women have, but those well-toned lads in after-shave ads may leave men feeling inadequate too, new research shows.

    The study of 158 male college students found that those who were made to watch TV ads full of lean, muscular and often shirtless young men showed more body dissatisfaction and depression compared with their peers who watched "neutral" commercials.

    The findings suggest that media images of the "ideal male body" contribute to poor body image in men, according to study authors Daniel Agliata and Dr. Stacey Tantleff-Dunn of the University of Central Florida.

    They report their results in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

    Poor body image has been linked to low self-esteem, depression and unhealthy eating habits, with much of this research focused on women. But there is evidence that body dissatisfaction is on the rise among men, at a time when the idealized male physique is becoming ever more buff while the typical American man's waistline is expanding ever wider.

    In the new study, the researchers surveyed college students on two different days. On the first day, the men were questioned on their beliefs about appearance. One week later, they viewed videotapes that included commercials. One group saw ads that featured fit, lean young men being used to sell cologne, deodorant and the like. Ads shown to the other group typically starred middle-aged and older men selling cars and telephone plans.

    Men in both groups then completed scales designed to measure body satisfaction and mood.

    Agliata and Tantleff-Dunn found that students in the group who watched the trim and toned actors reported more "muscle dissatisfaction" and depression than those who saw the neutral commercials.

    Since the average person is exposed to nearly 25 appearance-related commercials each day, the authors write, the negative effects seen in this study are "a cause for concern."

    Future research, they conclude, should look into the long-term effects of such media images -- and why some people take these body ideals to heart, while others are unfazed.

    SOURCE: Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, February 2004.

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  3. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    A lot of these young guys who want to "pump up" turn to illegal steroids, without thinking of the consequences later on down the road. I understand that hair loss and uncontrollable rage are side effects of steroids in many cases.

  4. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    Not to mention suppression of testosterone production, leading to sterility, reduction in testicle size, sexual dysfunction, "feminization", etc.

  5. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    I'm glad you mentioned those things. I was under the misconception that steroids increased testosterone and that's why these young men got so violent.

    I saw a show about illegal steroids which mentioned the East German female swim team. They were interviewing one of the team members, who is now a man (rather good looking, too!), and he was giving the skinny on how and what was done and how other countries have their athletes on a similar type of programme. They also mentioned poor Ben Johnson. Actually, now I think of it, the show was about Ben Johnson.

  6. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    I believe you are right initially, jubjub, although I should update myself (mental note: add to list of things to research when you have time).

    However, I was talking about long-term effects. For example, years ago my mother was prescribed through medical error a dose of corticosteroids to treat her asthma that was twice what it should have been. As a result, her adrenal glands shut down completely.

    I may be misinformed (or of course just confused, or as my kids prefer to put it, "wrong") but I was under the impression that a similar thing can happen with the use of steroids for body-building.

  7. Ads Influence Male Body Image Too

    Whatever changes steroids cause in the body, if you don't need them for actual medical treatment, you are just looking for physical or emotional problems down the road, I guess.

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