Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. David Cheshier - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Hoffner

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Winkler


This study re-evaluates the Consciousness Scale originally formulated by Pingree et al. in 1976. The element of assumed power was added to the Consciousness Scale, which was then used to evaluate 516 magazine advertisements from 1999 to determine if the Consciousness Scale still accurately evaluates sexism in media. A set of advertisements was culled which had contradictory Consciousness Scale and power ratings. The set was evaluated, revealing common themes, which created difficulty in coding these modern images. The study revealed that while the Consciousness Scale can still provide a valuable tool in evaluating media images, the change in the social dynamic of women as well as minorities and how advertisers portray them must be taken into account. The element of power as well as a more nuanced reading of each level of the Consciousness Scale creates a more modern and complex evaluation of gender images in the media.

Included in

Communication Commons