Media And Gender

1736 Words7 Pages
In an age dominated by media, it is almost impossible not get sucked into and internalize the things we see before us. This begins as early as infancy. Studies have shown that 74% of children under the ages of two watch TV (“TV and Kids Under the Age of 3”). This continues throughout a person’s life, and continues to shape them. The usually stereotypical images and characters shown in media can have many detrimental influences on persons, particularly children and young adults, such as low body image, eating disorders, and increased aggressive behaviour. In order to shape a better tomorrow, it is imperative that the media people see better reflection of men and women to avoid the aforementioned side effects, and to socialize the children of…show more content…
The slim female body type presented in the majority of media has a great influence on young girls in particular. In one study, it was shown that 69% of teen girls identified that the images shown in magazines created their perception of the ideal body, and 47% reported that these images inspired the girls to lose weight (Ata, Ludden and Lally, 1025). This is a relatively gendered phenomenon, as the same study found that half of teenage males reported that media had little to no effect on their eating behaviours and self esteem (Ata, Ludden and Lally, 1026). Additionally, the media’s representation of masculinity as a rigid box which boys must fit into has its own consequences. In the film Tough Guise, a film which begins with showing clips of male violence in movies, immediately followed by statistics of male violence, anti-violence educator Jackson Kratz goes into depth about the consequences of internalizing these images seen in media, and expecting oneself to put up a tough exterior. He states, “But putting on the tough guise comes with a cost, and that is a cost in terms of damage to their psyches and their ability to be a decent human beings” (“Tough Guise”). The film’s implications are not unwarranted, as it continues to correlate the gross amounts of violence committed by men, such as the fact that 85% of murders, 90% of violent…show more content…
However, this is not the case. There are ways to break the cycle to slowly change the media one sees, therefore giving them the potential to change the society around them. In order to change some of the female stereotypes perpetuated in film and TV shows, one primary answer is to include more women into the creation of these shows. Having female workers has been shown to produce more balanced female roles, “The presence of women in behind-the-scenes positions of control...who correlated with more major female characters and female characters who were more multi-dimensional” (Erigha, 86). In her article, “Content Analysis of Gender Roles in Media: Where we are Now and Where Should We Go”, Rebecca Collins concurs with this statement in her implication that girls may require the representation of other girls to identify with, and therefore to learn from them (Collins, 292). Including women in the creation of the shows is important, however it is only a stepping stone into fixing the larger problem. In her novel Feminism Matter: Debates, Theories, Activism, author Victoria Bromley explains where one must go to find the root of the
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