Logo1
Connecting you with the University of Missouri’s innovative research and creative activity

Articles Tagged with images

Picture Book Romance

An interview with Anne Rudloff Stanton, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology

Anne Rudloff Stanton loves romance. She loves the way it looks, the way it sounds, and the way it smells—but only when it’s found in the margins of 14th-century books. The professor of Art History and Archaeology describes one example—a small drawing of a man leaving a woman—and she leans forward as if she were talking about a mutual friend of ours. “There’s this long sequence of the story of Moses, who, as you may not know, was married before he married Zipporah,” she begins. “He first married the daughter of the king of Ethiopia.”

Countering Media Stereotypes

An interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Lara Croft in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is known as much, or more so, for her hyper-sexualized body as for her skills and adventures. This is often the norm for female characters in video games, saysElizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication at MU. Having recently finished her first year at MU, Behm-Morawitz actually began studying video games as a doctoral student at the University of Arizona. “Seeing these hyper-sexualized images of women caught my attention,” she recounts.

Behm-Morawitz’s research focuses on the effects video games can have on college students: “This is a stage of life when you’re on your own for the first time. You’re doing a lot of identity exploration, making sense of the world, coming into your own. So, this is a time when media images might have an impact on how you think about gender and how you think about yourself.”

Audio and Video Tagged with images

Studying Stereotypes in the Media

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Behm-Morawitz describes her research into the effects of racial and sexual stereotypes in the media. Her most recent endeavors center around video games, specifically hyper-sexualized characters. “Video gaming is becoming much more mainstream,” she says. “You are seeing the profile of the gamer shift a bit and seeing the gaming industry itself really take off.” This research started for Behm-Morawitz at the University of Arizona, where she had groups of students play sexualized and non-sexualized levels of the video game Tomb Raider: Legend.

How Women View Hyper-Sexualized Female Characters

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

In her research, Behm-Morawitz found that female players judged other women after playing a sexualized level of Tomb Raider: Legend.

Video Game Advertisements

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Behm-Morawitz also studies video game advertisements that promote certain racial and sexual stereotypes. The graphic art in these ads, she explains, is so advanced that some of her students had trouble identifying whether an animated character was real or not.

Real Life Games

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Some games, such as The Sims, are representations of real life, where the player can live in a community or interact with other characters. Players can also personalize their characters to match themselves. Behm-Morawitz will be studying such games associated with “real life” in order to find out how players represent their identities when given multiple options.

Extending Research

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Behm-Morawitz recently received a grant to replicate the study she did with Tomb Raider: Legend, this time with additional video games to determine that it is not just one game that can influence players’ perceptions of women. She will also examine stereotypical depictions of African Americans in video games.

Research Leading to More Research

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Behm-Morawitz discusses how her investigations into video games and the media may affect other research studies.

In the Classroom

From an interview with Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Assistant Professor of Communication

Behm-Morawitz’s research with media extends beyond video games. When she is teaching, she tries to make sense of the different types of media effects she observes, an approach that she hopes will advance students’ critical thinking and viewing skills.