Female anchor sexuality on display
IU Telecom‘s Betsi Grabe, Lelia Samson, and Ozen Bas gave a special, full-session presentation on their investigation into female anchor sexuality. They reflected that past anchors used to be androgynous but recently there has been a shift toward emphasized sexuality. To observe how both genders react to this shift, they had an actress present the same news dressed either sexually or professionally.
They found that men remembered less of the news content in the sexualized condition and thought that the anchor was less qualified to report on hard news (e.g., war, politics, etc.). By evaluating open-ended questions, they found that women derogated the sexualized anchor on attributes that would make her attractive as a nurturer (e.g., agreeableness, conscientiousness, etc.).
The talk spawned a great deal of interest in the crowd. The consensus was that the next step of the research may benefit from investigating how position within the menstrual cycle of both the anchor and the viewer would affect responses.