Essay on Socialization - Gender Messages in the Mass Media

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Pages: 4

Socialization - Gender Messages in the Mass Media

How Images on Television/Movies reinforce society’s expectations of gender.
The most powerful form of mass media that we enjoy in America is the television. What we see on our T.V.’s can have very deep and profound effects on our beliefs, our life-styles and our needs and behaviors. On most of T.V. women are portrayed as flawless, beautiful, hair of silk, skin like peaches and cream and God forbid if they can pinch an inch, whereas men are portrayed as hunks that are muscular, have beyond good looks and are rich, powerful and successful.
There is of course gender based bias in the shows and commercials played on T.V. The fact that most are targeted towards the female
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This being said I believe that children learn most of their social skills from T.V. When entering school they act and exhibit what they were taught from the movies they have watched. This is the reason kids idealize the super heroes they see and the athletes.
Movies are made to make money and not to portray and equal social standing. This is what kids don’t realize when watching and in turn might give them a negative influence on life. With more movies portraying each gender in a unordinary role might broaden and change the way people perceive each other. The world today is quite different from that of our parents and grandparents. Many of the old patterns of socialization are not sufficient to provide solutions to the psychological and economic strains experienced by many people today. We must find new ways to teach our children so that they can appreciate that the function and qualities associated with each gender have negative consequences for women's and men's development and self-esteem.
Filmmakers often rely heavily on stereotypes, because they're a quick and simple way to establish a movie character's traits. Blonde women are dumb, for example; foreigners are villains, Mexicans are lazy, and blacks are great athletes. Teenaged characters are variously shown as sex-crazed, uncivilized, moralistic or shallow, and they tend to be lumped into groups of either popular kids or geeks. Because children have a limited experience of the