Sex Roles

, Volume 80, Issue 3–4, pp 186–199 | Cite as

A Short-Term Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of TV Exposure on Objectifying Attitudes Toward Women in Early Adolescent Boys

  • Ann RousseauEmail author
  • Rachel F. Rodgers
  • Steven Eggermont
Original Article


The present study aimed to examine the relationships over time between television viewing (music and tween TV) and boys’ endorsement of sexualized gender roles, that is, views of women as sex objects and men as sexually dominant, as well as a tendency to objectify women’s bodies. As an additional question, we were interested in how parental socialization to gender roles related to these pathways. A sample of 496 Belgian boys aged 11.18 years (SD = 1.06, range = 9–13), participated in a longitudinal study and completed measures three times at 6-month intervals. Findings revealed that music TV was associated with increases in views of men as sexually dominant. Tween TV was associated with increases in views of women as sex objects, which in turn was associated with increased objectification of women’s bodies among adolescents who experienced high levels of gender-typical socialization from their parents. These findings suggest that media exposure among early adolescent boys may contribute to the development of sexually objectifying attitudes toward women. In addition, they highlight the critical role of parents in modulating the effect of media exposure and suggest the usefulness of engaging parents in interventions aiming to decrease these deleterious effects.


Television Parental gender-role socialization Gender stereotypes Sexual objectification Early adolescent boys 



The present research was funded by a grant (G050513 N) from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) granted to the first author.


This study was funded by a grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) granted to the last author.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Uniqueness of Publication

The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration. The manuscript was submitted to the International Communication Association conference. If the manuscript is accepted, the findings will be presented at the ICA conference, but the manuscript will not be published in the conference’s proceedings.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. This study involved human participants, and procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Active informed consent was obtained from all participants. Authorship and ordering: All authors agree to the authorship order and manuscript content.

Supplementary material

11199_2018_925_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leuven School for Mass Communication Research, Faculty of Social SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Applied Educational PsychologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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