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Gender Meanings in the Eyes of the Media

by D B 4 years ago in gender roles
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How does the media shape gender?

In the strands of predominant media, stereotypes are cultivated and influence the audience on their own views and attitudes (Goodhall, 2012). Women are underrepresented on television compared to men (Sink & Mastro, 2016), even in this golden age for women. Women are usually represented in a sexual manner for the desires of men (Farvid & Braun, 2006) or of the proposed stereotypes of women and the roles they are supposed to uphold (Coltrane & Adams, 1997) due to the instated social roles (Eagly & Steffen, 1984).

On TV women are primarily presented as provocative in the way they dress and speak (Glascock, 2003), while thin and beautiful (Greenwood, 2006) and young (Signorielli, 2004). Through this exposure, many females believe that they must look, behave, and have attitudes the same as or similar to those on TV (Yamamiya, Cash, Melnyk, Posavac & Posavac, 2005). At times, the media exposure can induce eating disorders due to the body image ideal (Derenne & Beresin, 2014). The ideal suggests that women have to look and behave in certain ways, then depicting how they should be instead of who they are.

Men, conversely, are viewed as masculine and set for certain roles on television that women are seen as unable to portray (Scharrer & Blackburn, 2017). Many sexist portrayals and sexist attitudes have developed from the increased use of pornography (Hald, Malamuth & Lange, 2013), which is the media outlet males will use as sex education as well as masturbatory stimuli (Rothman, Kaczmarsky Burke, Jansen & Baughman, 2014). Media plays an active role in how our reality is constructed (Gamson, Croteau, Hoynes & Sasson, 1992) especially on youth whom are developing their conceptions on society and how they are to behave (Peterson & Peters, 1983).

It is therefore essential to ensure media promotes a more positive and diverse outlook on life, allowing for gender to stand for nothing put what the person wants it to be. It is important to teach such pro-social attributes to children as they grow into youth, so that they grow up with acceptance of those individuals different from 'mainstream' stereotypes (Peterson & Peters, 1983).

References

Coltrane, S. & Adams, M. (1997). Work–family imagery and gender stereotypes: Television and the reproduction of difference. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 50(2), 323-347. DOI: 10.1006/jvbe.1996.1575

Derenne, J. & Beresin, E. (2006). Body image, media, and eating disorders. Academic Psychiatry, 30(3), 257-261. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.30.3.257

Eagly, A. & Steffen, V. (1984). Gender stereotypes stem from the distribution of women and men into social roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(4), 735-754. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.46.4.735

Farvid, P. & Braun, V. (2006). ‘Most of us guys are raring to go anytime, anyplace, anywhere’: Male and female sexuality in Cleo and Cosmo. Sex Roles, 55(5-6), 295-310. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-006-9084-1

Gamson, W., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W. & Sasson, T. (1992). Media images and the social construction of reality. Annual Review of Sociology, 18(1), 373-393. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.so.18.080192.002105

Glascock, J. (2003). Gender, race, and aggression in newer TV networks' primetime programming. Communication Quarterly, 51(1), 90-100. DOI: 10.1080/01463370309370142

Goodall, H. (2012). Media’s influence on gender stereotypes. Media Asia, 39(3), 160-163. DOI: 10.1080/01296612.2012.11689932

Greenwood, D. (2009). Idealized TV friends and young women's body concerns. Body Image, 6(2), 97-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2008.12.001

Hald, G., Malamuth, N. & Lange, T. (2013). Pornography and sexist attitudes among heterosexuals. Journal of Communication, 63(4), 638-660. DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12037

Peterson, G. & Peters, D. (1983). Adolescents' construction of social reality: The impact of television and peers. Youth & Society, 15(1), 67-85. DOI: 10.1177/0044118x83015001005

Rothman, E., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E. & Baughman, A. (2014). “Without porn … I wouldn't know half the things I know mow”: A qualitative study of pornography use among a sample of urban, low-income, black and Hispanic youth. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2014.960908

Scharrer, E. & Blackburn, G. (2017). Cultivating conceptions of masculinity: Television and perceptions of masculine gender role norms. Mass Communication and Society. DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2017.1406118

Signorielli, N. (2004). Aging on television: Messages relating to gender, race, and occupation in prime time. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48(2), 279-301. DOI: 10.1207/s15506878jobem4802_7

Sink, A. & Mastro, D. (2016). Depictions of gender on primetime television: A quantitative content analysis. Mass Communication and Society, 20(1), 3-22. DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2016.1212243

Yamamiya, Y., Cash, T., Melnyk, S., Posavac, H. & Posavac, S. (2005). Women's exposure to thin-and-beautiful media images: body image effects of media-ideal internalization and impact-reduction interventions. Body Image, 2(1), 74-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2004.11.001

gender roles

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