Male objectification and consumer behavior

Sarah Hawke, The College of Wooster


Body image issues and body change behaviors are becoming increasingly prevalent in males. Theoretical models once only applicable for women are now being applied to explain maladaptive body change behaviors in men. The present study investigated marketing strategies as well as individual differences in body image related constructs on male consumer behavior. Effects of objectification, clothing presentation, Drive for Muscularity, and Social Comparison on purchase intentions were examined in a sample of college men (n=85). Results revealed that men in an objectifying situation were more likely to report purchase intentions of certain clothing articles than men in a neutral condition. No effects of clothing presentation on a male model versus clothing presented alone emerged. There was partial support for Drive for Muscularity and Social Comparison as correlates of purchase intentions. Findings suggest objectification, Drive for Muscularity, and Social Comparison are important constructs related to men's clothing purchase intentions.