Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber E. Kinser

Committee Members

John M. King, Martha Copp


This study examines portrayals of adolescent girls on Music Television (MTV). A content analysis of 26 hours of MTV programming was conducted and analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Analyzed programming was shown August-November 2001. Dates were chosen randomly; times were chosen randomly from the pools of hours in which adolescents usually watch television.

Adolescent girls predominantly appear in the background of MTV programs. Many of them cheer for male celebrities, but only 12% speak. The content analysis reveals that a narrow beauty ideal is promoted on the channel-most girls are thin, White, and wearing revealing clothing. It is argued that MTV portrayals exacerbate girls' body dissatisfaction, sexual objectification, and confidence slide.

This study is significant because the stories told on MTV are reflected in the lived world, and those stories suggest that girls should sit quietly in the background and be thin and White to be considered beautiful.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Communication Commons