The remarks made by men's magazines about women are similar to those made by 'convicted rapists', a new study has revealed. The study divulged that when presented with quotes from both, some men actually found themselves identifying more with the views of the sex offender than those adopted by the magazines.
Psychologists have asserted that the study highlights the danger of the sexualisation of women in the media and have also called for moves to deal with the issue. In the study, men aged between 18 and 46 were shown quotes about women from leading lads' magazines FHM, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo.
They were also given quotes made in interviews with convicted rapists, the Daily Mail reported. On being asked which comments they identified the most, the majority chose those made by the rapists rather than the magazine.
After being informed about the quotes, which were from lads' magazines, the surveyed men said that they identified more with these - even when they were misled and the quotes were actually from rapists. A separate group, including women, of participants were also asked to rank the comments on the basis of how derogatory they were.
The results revealed that the magazine descriptions were more demeaning than those from the sex offenders. One of the quotes from the sex offenders list stated: "I think if a law is passed there should be a dress code. When girls dress in those short skirts and things like that they're just asking for it".
"There is a fundamental concern that the content of such magazines normalises the treatment of women as sexual objects," said Dr Peter Hegarty, of the University of Surrey. "We are not killjoys or prudes who think that there should be no sexual information and media for young people."
"But are teenage boys and young men best prepared for fulfilling love and sex when they normalise views about women that are disturbingly close to those mirrored in the language of sexual offenders?" According to Dr Miranda Hovarth, of Middlesex University, there is something definitely wrong when people consider that the language used in men's magazines comes from convicted rapists.
"There is clearly something wrong when people feel the sort of language used in a lads' mag could have come from a convicted rapist," Hovarth said. "We were surprised that participants identified more with the rapists' quotes, and we are concerned that the legitimisation strategies that rapists deploy when they talk about women are more familiar to these young men than we had anticipated," Hovarth added. The study has been published in the British Psychological Society's British Journal of Psychology.