William and Mary University published a study titled, “Gendered race in mass media: Invisibility of Asian men and Black women in popular magazines,” in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture in late 2015 in which they examined the often ignored question of whether the genders of already underrepresented ethnic minorities were being fairly treated.
(Read the article about the study here: http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2015/study-finds-asian-men,-black-women-underrepresented-in-magazines123.php)
Professors Joanna Schug and Monika Gosin, along with student and faculty researchers examined photos in multiple genres of American magazines and found that Asian men and black women were underrepresented, “potentially due to stereotypes that associate femininity with Asian people and masculinity with black people.”
The study is the first to show that not only are black women rendered “invisible” in media depictions, but Asian men are, too, said Schug, an assistant professor of psychology.
“I think we’re showing evidence of gender-based stereotypes on a cultural level and not just a psychological level,” she said.
In all genres of magazines, including GQ, Maxim and Cosmopolitan, Asians, already underrepresented group, had females appear dramatically more often than males. Approximately at a ratio of 4 women to 1 man (4:1).
“Overall, we found that when blacks were depicted, they were more likely to be men, and when Asian were depicted, they were more likely to be women, proportionally,” said Schug. “Whites were in the middle. Overall, there were, of course, a lot more whites in general, so there was not a lot of diversity, which is unfortunate but is something that has been found in dozens and dozens of studies.”
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“With Asian masculinity not being represented, it kind of gives the message that Asian men are not as masculine as the men who are represented, and similar with black women,” said Gosin.
The study builds on previous research conducted by Schug and published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology earlier this year. In one part of that study, Schug showed that, as in previous studies with black women, people (in this case, a group of non-Asian undergraduates) were less likely to remember statements made by Asian men.