[STUDY] Black Women and Asian Men Underrepresented in Magazines

Despite black women getting Sept. covers, research shows that the playing field is still not diverse

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Though recent news reports have touted black women winning in the realm of September magazine covers, a recent study by student and faculty researchers at the College of William & Mary highlighted another side of the media diversity coin.

Their research found that gender stereotypes related to race are still apparent in in U.S. magazines.

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Researchers looked at photos in six popular American magazines and found that Asian men and black women were underrepresented, in a study that is the first to show that not only are black women rendered “invisible” in media depictions, but Asian men are, too, said Joanna Schug, assistant professor of psychology and a faculty co-leader of the study.

“I think we’re showing evidence of gender-based stereotypes on a cultural level and not just a psychological level,” she said on William & Mary’s website.

“Overall, we found that when blacks were depicted, they were more likely to be men, and when Asians were depicted, they were more likely to be women, proportionally,” Schug continued. “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.”

The study, Gendered race in Mass Media: Invisibility of Asian Men and Black Women in Popular Magazines, was published online by the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture.