The vast majority of body image research focuses on females, there is comparatively little research on the effects of media exposure on males' body image. For both men and women, there seem to be similar trends with differing approaches. A comparison of the most popular magazines, for instance, reveals that print media encourages women to control their weight through dieting and men through exercise (Agliata & Tentleff-Dunn, 2004). In the last years, the ideal man marketed to men (including a rather young target group) became more muscular: Toy action figures became more muscular than they were 25 years ago resulting in decreased body esteem in young males (Hobza et al., 2007).
In a study, males were exposed to ideal vs. neutral male images on TV. Results indicated that participants who were exposed to ideal image advertisements became significantly more depressed and dissatisfied than those exposed to neutral advertisements. The rate of body image dissatisfaction among males may be increasing (Agliata & Tentleff-Dunn, 2004).
Agliata, D. & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004) The Impact of Media Exposure on Males' Body Image. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 7-22
Hobza, C. L., Walker, K. E., Yakushko, O. & Peugh, J. L. (2007) What About Men? Social Comparison and the Effects of Media Images on Body and Self-Esteem. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 8(3), 161-172
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