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The Cosmo Girl: The Empowered Woman of Today?

A Content Analysis of Cosmopolitan Philippines

Sullivan, C.C. (2014). The Cosmo Girl: The Empowered Woman of Today? A Content Analysis of Cosmopolitan Philippines, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This study aims to find out whether sexism exists in Cosmopolitan Philippines, particularly benevolent sexism – the subtle form of sexism or the seemingly-positive treatment of women.

Governing this study are Glick and Fiske’s ambivalent sexism theory, Tuchman’s symbolic annihilation, Kaneva and Ibroscheva’s symbolic glorification, and Douglas’ enlightened sexism and embedded feminism.

The researcher content analyzed all 2013 issues (January-December) of Cosmopolitan Philippines, specifically the Man Manual section, because of its focus on the Cosmo Girl’s dealings with men, and the You, You, You section because of its focus on the Cosmo Girl herself being empowered. The researcher believes that both sections most likely perpetuate sexist messages, in accordance with the study’s frameworks. Themes from these two sections were identified and categorized as either supporting or opposing benevolent sexism.

This study found that (1) Sexism indeed persists in Cosmopolitan Philippines, (2) Benevolent sexism is the type of sexism that can be found in Cosmopolitan Philippines, and (3) Benevolent sexism manifests itself subtly in Cosmopolitan Philippines’ pages, in articles giving advice on how to better the self (You, You, You) and how to deal with men (Man Manual).

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