Communications assistant professor Lucinda Austin authored the article "Desensitization Effect" for the "Encyclopedia of Gender in Media."
The term “desensitization effect” has been used to describe the numbing effects of exposure to violence in media, including film, television, music, advertisements and video games. Desensitization research shows a connection between continued exposure to violence and the lessening of physical, emotional and cognitive responses to violence. Repeated exposure to sexually explicit and violent materials has been hypothesized to shift cultural values, fostering tolerance of sexual violence against women.
With more than 150 signed author entries, the “Encyclopedia of Gender in Media,” published by SAGE publications, is the first comprehensive reference work to cover gender representations in media and gender issues related to media ownership and workforce. The encyclopedia critically examines media’s role in socially constructing gender through a variety of entertainment and news content in print and electronic media.
Austin joined the School of Communications faculty in the fall semester and teaches courses in public relations.