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It is tempting to write all of this off as someone trying to create a problem where there is none.These are, after all, just advertisements; nobody looks at an ad for Diesel jeans or sunglasses and suddenly decides to go out and smack around some bitches, right bro?Every interaction between men is one of a struggle for dominance.There are no equals, only the dominant and the submissive.In the most recent issue of the journal Sex Roles, psychologists from the University of Manitoba examined the prevalence of hypermasculinity – the ideology of exaggerated male traits as the epitome of masculine identity – in advertisements in popular men’s magazines including Maxim, Playboy, Game Informer, Fortune, Esquire and Wired.Hypermasculinity portrays violence and physical aggression as manly ideals; it promotes a world where all of male life is a struggle of dominance of others, where sex is a matter of power and female submission rather than one of intimacy and mutual pleasure and that any “feminine” emotions are to be repressed.Over half of ads in men’s magazines presented over-the-top imagery from hypermasculine ideology – upwards of 90% in some magazines like Game Informer.Moreover, hypermasculine imagery was predominantly aimed at two audiences: younger men (adolescents and men in their early 20s) and older working-class men without college educations.
Neither have much in the way of disposable income; in fact, a higher income level of the magazine’s target audience correlated with ads depicting exaggerated male behavior.
Hypermasculine ideology reinforces a culture that permits a very narrow expression of male identity.
The message carried by the imagery is that men are defined by conflict and violence.
Male-oriented advertising is targeting young and impressionable men looking for guidance…
so it’s time to take a look at just Amanda Hess’ article in Slate Magazine alerted me to a study examining just how masculinity is pitched to young men.