The Representation of Females in the Media Essay

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The Representation of Females in the Media It is generally accepted that the media, primarily television, 'lags' behind reality and current social trends (Butler and Paisley, 1980) (Gunter, Television and Sex Role Stereotyping). However, This does not make the way women are portrayed in the media any better. Women are not only under-represented in the media but more importantly are portrayed to be "half clad, half witted and needing to be rescued by quick thinking fully clothed men" (Stereotypes, Adelson 1990). Women are most commonly portrayed as sexual objects and housewives; whose lives revolve around landing the right man. "When women are in the news, their role is often trivialized. World…show more content…
The media uses stereotypes in order to relate to audiences. However, gender based stereotypes towards women in the media should be changed, but how? When the media changes perhaps the stereotypes of women in real life will also begin to alter… According to Gunter stereotyping can be divided into sex role stereotyping and sex trait stereotyping. Sex role stereotyping of a female is, for example, the beliefs held about the value of the family and the role of a woman in society. This sex role of women has changed in society in recent years with many women taking part in activities outside the home such as careers. Women are also tending to delay motherhood until later in life and are having fewer children if indeed they choose to have any. In reality however, these changes have not been reflected in the media. An example of this is the way many TV programs portray a woman's role as having to please men. Sex trait stereotyping are stereotypes about a woman's characteristics and personality traits (Gunter, Television and Sex Role Stereotyping, 1986). For example, the media portrays women to be very emotional, delicate and dependent. This sex trait stereotyping can have very damaging effects on society, as whether we like it or not, the media influences the way many people think and dictates to them what they should think.
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