Men And Women In The Media

Submitted By hawlan1111
Words: 936
Pages: 4

In the article “Gender and the Media”, we can see many issues in regards to the portrayal of men and women in the media. The article gathers many different researches done on the interpretation of men and women in popular media, such as the presence of only 40 percent female characters on television programs in the 1990s (Schement). Furthermore, the numbers of male characters outnumbers female characters in programing for children (Schement). As for television cartoons in major characters, male outnumbered female three to one and minor characters five to one (Schement). In many ways men overwhelm women in television, for example there are only 12 percent female correspondents in news broadcasting (Schement). In television and newspaper reports of sporting events, women are massively overlooked. Susan Tyler Eastman and Andrew Billings conducted a five month study to see the amount of coverage for women’s sporting events in television and sports magazine. The coverage of women’s sports is only 17 percent in USA Today, 9 percent in The New York Times, 6 percent on SportsCenter, and 4 percent on Sports Tonight (Schement). The presence of women in different media is extremely less than the exposure men gets. The article also covers the portrayal of men and women in television, which is often very stereotypical. For instance in children’s cartoon, male character were more likely to show intelligence, leadership, aggression and anger; whereas females were more likely to show affection and ask for help or advice (Schement). Ronald Drabman conducted studies where he showed children a video with a female physician and a male nurse, when asked to recall the video more than 95 percent of first and second graders identified the male as the physician and the female as the nurse (Schement). This is extremely significant because even at such a young age the stereotype between men and women still exists.
A main effect of gender and the media is how media images can influence a man’s attitude and beliefs about a woman. Numerous studies shows that some portrayal of women can lead to increased acceptance of sexual aggression or sexual insensitivity (Schement). Other researchers have conducted studies to see the effects of R-rated horror films on men. The results show that long term exposure to R-rated horror movies, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre can quickly numb viewers towards sexual aggression (Schement). As a result, those who frequently watch R-rated horror films can have lower levels of concern about real instances of victimization (Serdar). Another issue the article brought up was the media portrayals of female appearance, such as they tend to focus on their appearance and sexuality a lot more than males. Women featured in television are presented as young, thin or physically fit and they are more likely to display sexual behaviours and wear revealing clothing (Schement).
In sociocultural standards, feminine beauty is presented in television and other media, featuring women with the “ideal body”, these standards are almost unattainable for most women (Serdar). The models featured in magazine like Vogue have a figure that is below what is considered healthy body weight. Yet women every day is trying to look like the way these models look on magazines and television. Research shows that a person can be easily impacted by the psychosocial experience like watching popular television shows and then evaluate their own body image based on what they see as the “ideal image” (Serdar). Women in contact with media use are predicted to have an increased desire for thinness and a high level of body dissatisfaction (Schement).