THE DISEMPOWERING EFFECTS OF MEDIA VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ON COLLEGE WOMEN

Authors


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Gillian Finchilescu, Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7700 South Africa.

Abstract

This study investigated the disempowering effect of exposure to media violence against women on female students. An initial study involving 284 female students described the development and evaluation of two forms of a scale measuring disempowerment. The second study investigated the effect of media violence using a Solomon Four-Group experimental design. Fifty-seven female students were divided into four groups that were shown video clips depicting scenes of violence directed either toward female or male victims. Half the groups completed the first form of the disempowerment scale prior to the viewing. All groups completed the second form of the scale after the viewing. Analysis confirmed that completion of the pretest scale did not differentially affect the participants viewing the female-victim clips. The results of the main analysis revealed that exposure to media aggression against women heightens feelings of disempowerment in female viewers.

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