Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender
Julia T. Wood
Department of Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill times more often than ones about women (“Study Reports Sex Bias,” 1989), media misrepresent actual proportions of men and women in the population. This constant distortion tempts us to believe that there really are more men than women and, further, that men are the cultural standard.
THEMES IN MEDIA
Of the many influences on how we view men and women, media are the most pervasive and one of the most powerful. Woven throughout our daily lives, media insinuate their messages into our consciousness at every turn. All forms of media communicate images of the sexes, many of which …show more content…
Stereotypical portrayals of men. According to J. A. Doyle (1989, p. ill), whose research focuses on masculinity children’s television typically shows males as “aggressive, dominant, and engaged in exciting activities from which they receive rewards from others for their ‘masculine’ accomplishments.” Relatedly, recent studies reveal that the majority of men on prime-time television are independent, aggressive, and in charge (McCauley Thangavelu, & Rozin, 1988). Television programming foi all ages disproportionately depicts men as serious confident, competent, powerful, and in high-status ‘positions. Gentleness in men, which was briefly evident in the 197Os, has receded as established male characters are redrawn to be more tough and distanced from others (Bayer, 1986). Highly popular films such as LethaI
Weapon, Predator, Days of Thunder, Total Recall, Robocop Die Hard, and Die Harder star men who embody the
The lack of women in the media is paralleled by the scarcity of women in charge of media. Only about 5% of television writers, executives, and producers are women (Lichter, Lichter, & Rothman, 1986). Ironically, while twothirds of journalism graduates are women, they make up less than 2% of those in corporate management of newspapers and only about 5% of newspaper publishers (“Women in Media,” 1988). Female film directors are even rnonz-scarce, as are executives in