Menstrual Knowledge and Taboo TV Commercials: Effects on Self-Objectification among Italian and Swedish Women

Giuliana Spadaro, Sara R.G. d’Elia, Cristina O. Mosso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Despite menstruation being a physiological phenomenon in women’s life, social research has highlighted that there are still many taboos, also conveyed by advertising, which prevent an open discourse on the topic and can have negative impacts on women’s well-being. The present study examined the influence of the exposure to existing TV advertisements for sanitary napkins depicting menstruation as a taboo on self-objectification in women from Italy (n = 160) and Sweden (n = 159). To do so, we also investigated the moderating role of menstrual knowledge in this relationship. Our findings showed that in the Italian sample, exposure to the taboo TV commercial led to more self-objectification especially for participants with lower knowledge of menstruation. These effects did not occur for their Swedish counterparts, showing no differences in self-objectification when women were exposed to the taboo advertisement. The present results are discussed in light of cultural differences in sexual and menstrual education between the two countries. Theoretical and practical implications are drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-696
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Volume78
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Italy
  • Menstrual knowledge
  • Menstrual taboos
  • Self-objectification
  • Sweden
  • TV commercial

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Menstrual Knowledge and Taboo TV Commercials: Effects on Self-Objectification among Italian and Swedish Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this