Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John M. King

Committee Members

Karen Harrington, Patricia Burant


This study examined how women and men and people of different ethnicity are represented in the photographs found on the front screens of websites of colleges and universities offering four-year degrees and above in the United States. A content analysis analyzed 1,677 images of men and women found on the front pages of 412 colleges and university websites. A six-point Body Index Scale coding instrument was used to determine if emphasis was placed on the face or the body of the human image, determined through an analysis of where the images were cropped.

Frequencies of men and women were moderately split, with images of women representing 53.2 percent of the images and images of men accounting for 46.8 percent. Caucasians were more frequently depicted than people of other ethnicities. The face-ism theory, which asserts that images of women in photographs are cropped to emphasize their sensuality rather than their intellect, was not supported in this study.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.