Gender Differences in TV - Malcolm in the Middle Essay

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Malcolm in the Middle Television holds an important part in most of our lives. From a young age, we spend countless hours sitting in front of a television set. Every year there are new shows created, and our favorite shows are renewed for another season. There are numerous programs to choose from. Television broadcasts are free, and there are also paid options for more diverse programming. We are fortunate enough to be able to spend on average a third of our leisure time watching television all from the comfort of our homes. Given the incredible reach that television has on our lives, we can say that television has a significant impact on our lives. Authors, Renzetti and Curran, claim that television is a profound socializing…show more content…
As previously mentioned, Renzetti and Curran, make several claims about the kind of gendered messages that we as a society receive via our favorite television shows. I selected three other claims to see whether or not they held true for “Malcolm in the Middle.” The first claim is that “female characters are more likely than men to use sex or romantic charm to get what they want. Men, in contrast, are more likely than women to use physical force.” I recorded each instance of use or threat of physical force and whether it was a man or woman who did so. Each instance of sex or romantic charm was also recorded according to which sex used that technique. Another claim was “only 28% of women are shown on the job compared to 41% of male characters.” I kept a tally of characters that were shown on the job or made any reference to their jobs. The last claim I chose to analyze was that men on television are rarely shown doing housework (one to three percent compared to twenty to twenty-seven percent of women). I kept a tally of each instance that a household chore was done and whether it was a man or woman who took care of the task. The first claim that I analyzed was that women are more likely to use charm and men are more likely to use physical force held true according to my sample. There were three instances of using charm. Hal, the father, did so once. Lois, the mother, did so the other two times. The second

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