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    The Value of Self-Esteem (1496 words)

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    Self-esteem reflects on people’s evaluation of their own self-worth and is a vital concept to embrace because it represents how we view ourselves as individuals. Those who have a healthy or high self-esteem view themselves as good, secure individuals who are confident and well-adjusted in their life. On the contrary, those with low self-esteem find themselves thinking negatively or poorly when it comes to their self-worth. There have been hundreds of studies conducted to see if there are differences in self-esteem between men and women, and while the answer is yes, not all fall in the same categories.

    Self-esteem in made up of many elements including education, career path, social acceptance, and appearance. Especially during adolescence there is a shift on how boys and girls view themselves, their self-esteem starts to change, partially because of the transitions they face such as puberty. Young girls experience more noticeable body changes then young boys, thus making their appearance more of a target. However, there seems to be more attention draw to females when it comes to lower self-esteem because of how media expects women to look like. There has not been a sufficient amount of research done with it comes to men and the expectations media gives them. Moving forward, two articles will be analyzed when it comes to young men and how they reflect on their self-esteem after being shown body images media expects them to meet. Article Review 1 Intro Hobza, Walker, Yakushko, and Peugh conducted a study about how men viewed their self-esteem and body self-esteem after being shown media-portrayed male images.

    Research has been consistent when it comes to women’s self-evaluation after being exposed to media-portrayed female images, but there has been minimal research done on men. Based on previous studies associated with women, they hypothesis that men who view ideal physical images instead of neutral images will have lower levels of self-esteem and body-esteem. Methods Participants were students from various courses from a Midwestern state college. Both female and male students were given questionnaires to conceal the true purpose of the study; leaving 46 males out of 94 undergraduate students. All males were ages 18 to 23, Caucasian, heterosexual, and catholic with an exception of 14 males. The procedure for the study consisted of participants being in groups of 12 or more and were presented with a PowerPoint presentation of either neutral, resourceful, or physical conditioned images. To disguise the experiment, participants were told the images were magazine advertisements and were to see which ones were most memorable. After viewing each presentation they were then given a “filler task” to discourage the advertisements. The filler task however was filling out the Body Esteem Scale (BES) and the State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES), which would provide the results as to whether or not the participant’s self-esteem and body-esteem were affected after seeing the images. After this was completed, to go on with the disguised experiment, they were asked to list as many advertisements as they remembered.


    To break down the results of the study, the measurements used; BES and SSES were followed by sub scale categories. For BES sub scale categories consisted of Physical Attractiveness, Upper Body Strength, and Physical Condition. Meanwhile, for SSES sub scale categories consisted of Social, Appearance, and Performance. Using this sub scales the authors had an easier time figuring out correlations that would prove their hypothesis. MANOVA tests were distributed amongst the dependent variables. Furthermore, it was concluded that other the appearance sub scale there was no significant correlation when it came to BES and SSES subscales. In addition, participants who were in the resource-image condition did not report lower levels of self-esteem, thus, debunking the second hypothesis.


    It was concluded that the first initial hypothesis was only partially proven since there was no differentiation because SSES scores with all group condition scores but there was differentiation with BES scores. They hypothesized there would be a difference in self-esteem when it came to neutral, physical, and resourceful imagery but it was not supported since resource-image condition reported similar SSES scores. When it comes to their limitations of the study there were several elements to improve on. For instance, the participants were mainly heterosexual white males, lacking ethnic diversity to the study; the sample size was small to consider generalizing a whole population. Followed by, there was disruptions of female participants shouting out comments during the physical condition image presentation, which can lead the male participants to rate their self-esteem lower.

    Article Review

    Intro Hatoum and Belle conducted a study on the association between media consumption and bodily concerns among college men. Across the board media messages promote unrealistic standard for men, especially when it comes to having a hypermuscular body. Trying to achieve the almost impossible body figure have lead men to have concerns about their own muscularity, thus leading to a low self-esteem with their body. In addition, it was found that there was an association with women’s body standards; the more men were exposed to these male-directed magazines they more the valued thinness in women.


    Participants in the study were 89 male students from a large northeastern university, ranging ages from 18 to 23 and came from European, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, and African American backgrounds. All participants were recruited outside a dining hall at the university; a table was set up asking for men to participate in a study. Upon following a survey to enlist in the study participants who were recruited were asked to report how many hours a week they watched TV, movies, music videos, and reading magazine. In addition, they were give 22 male-directed magazine and were asked to indicate which ones they have look through recently. After this part of the study was done the males were evaluated on 3 scales: Swansea Muscularity Attitudes Questionnaire (SMAQ), Men’s Endorsement of Thinness and Dieting for Women, and Self-esteem and were calculated for BMI. Results BMI was used as a controlled variable amongst media consumption, self-esteem, bodily concerns, and endorsement of thinness in women to avoid bias from men and their current body size.

    The findings were that out of all media exposure, male-directed magazines had the most impact when it came to bodily concerns. However, the number of magazines read did not correlate with weight concerns but it did with muscularity and general fitness concern. TV, movies, and reading magazines did not significantly correlate with any type of measure when it came to men’s body concerns. Additionally, low self-esteem was correlated with every measure of weight concern but not with muscularity and general fitness concerns. The study also observed that men who endorse thinness in women are more concerned with their own bodies.


    Based on the results it was concluded that higher levels of male-direct magazine exposure was associated with higher levels to improve one’s body. When it comes to self-esteem, there was a stronger association with weight concerns over muscularity. For future studies, factors to improve on include expanding the diversity of men who took the study, sexual orientation preference since most men were heterosexual there are different perspectives of body imagery when it comes to heterosexual and gay men. Other mental health aspects should be involved besides self-esteem such as anxiety and depression. Another key limitation would be changing the procedure from something other then self-report, because it is considered an unreliable option. As the authors have indicated, there has been minimal research when it comes to self-esteem and men. There is the stigma that women in general have lower self-esteem then men do partly because of the numerous studies conducted to prove this claim. In fact, trying to find articles on this topic was nearly impossible.

    However, this showcases the importance of why self-esteem should be evaluated with every gender. Self-esteem is how we as individuals value ourselves and it is crucial to have a good self-worth for our mental health. Even though self-esteem is perceived differently among women and men it is essential to study both. The studies done by the researchers were similar in which they both used media to measure self-esteem, body esteem, and overall attitudes on muscularity. Media is by far one of the biggest influences when it comes to appearance and self-esteem because it portrays these beauty expectations for both men and women.

    According to media, men should be built and muscular in order to fit the ideal male body image; likewise, women are so supposed to have thin and slim bodies. As the book explains, advertisements have heavenly impacted this train of thought. Ads in magazines influence the way men view themselves and their bodies, yet, the pressures fall more on women then men to uphold these standards. Both studies were conducted in the late 2000s and since then there has not been in an increase in these studies, and the reason for this is unclear. Regardless, men should not be forgotten when it comes to evaluating their self-esteem because it is equally important to investigate their self-worth.

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