How media affects our perception on gender

Media plays a great role on our day to day doings: for our views on particular fields of thoughts, our purchasing thought, and the way and of performance (how people things) and on various aspects on life. One of the ways that the media affects is on our perception on gender.

This can be main seen thought various advertisements in that thought various media advertisement they tend to belittle the one gender .this is very evident in many advertisements that manly advertises liquor cigarettes for example in the recent past an international brand beer put out an advert that a gentleman drinking that brand he will have all ladies chasing after him this give a thought that a lady only looks at the drink on not on the mans personality.

Moreover this is more reflected when by the programs that are aired on the media some of the program give the feminine gender a low status in the society .it give the lady a position as the a beast of all burden . The research revealed that television portrayed more male figures than female, and furthermore depicted males in a more varied range of occupations and activities than their female counterparts, who typically were depicted as being content with domestic settings while working in traditional female occupational specialties. If this doesn’t affect a child’s perceptions of gender roles I don’t know what does.

Just as much research supports that positive depiction of both male and females on television can influence the same type of role model for children who in turn nurture this image later in life as an adult. Is it not a good thing, when a young girl wants to be like the female surgeon on ER, and dreams of becoming a doctor? Or the young boy or girl who is impressed with the team of forensic scientists on CSI and is inspired to follow suite?

In as much as children spend a lot of their time watching television and tend to imitate what they see, it seems logical to assume that the perceptions of gender roles can be at least influenced in part by the type of programming that is beamed into our living rooms. Further more, it is entirely plausible that gender role development is impacted by the imitated behavior of children of what they see on television.

Let’s use the media to inspire our youth to do great things. Let’s take the old perceptions of males and females and turn them inside out in a positive way. Our children should be reaching for the stars, and we as adults should be pointing these kids in the right direction. Though not as strongly as in earlier years, the portrayal of both men and women on TV is largely traditional and stereotypical. This serves to promote a polarization of gender roles. [With femininity are associated traits such as emotionality, prudence, co-operation, a communal sense, and compliance. Masculinity tends to be associated with such traits as rationality, efficiency, competition, individualism and ruthlessness.]

Meehan has shown how on TV, ‘good’ women are presented as submissive, sensitive and domesticated; ‘bad’ women are rebellious, independent and selfish. The ‘dream-girl’ stereotype is gentle, demure, sensitive, submissive, non-competitive, sweet- natured and dependent. The male hero tends to be physically strong, aggressive, assertive, takes the initiative, is independent, competitive and ambitious. TV and film heroes represent goodness, power, control, confidence, competence and success. They are geared, in other words, to succeed in a competitive economic system. There is no shortage of aggressive male role-models in Westerns, war films and so on. Many boys try to emulate such characteristics through action and aggression.

There are few women in the heroic role played by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Men tend to be shown as more dominant, more violent and more powerful than women. Men on TV are more likely to disparage women than vice versa. They drive, drink and smoke more, do athletic things, and make more plans. They are found more in the world of things than in relationships. Women on TV tend to be younger than the men, typically under 30.

So TV images largely reflect traditional patriarchal notions of gender. Stereotypical masculinity, for instance, is portrayed as natural, normal and universal, but it is fact a particular construction. It is largely a white, middle-class heterosexual masculinity. This is a masculinity within which any suggestion of feminine qualities or homosexuality is denied, and outside which women are subordinated. The notion of ‘natural’ sex differences help to preserve the inequalities on which our economic system continues to be based.

Most modern TV ads feature both girls and boys, but boys tend to be the dominant ones. Ads aimed at boys portray far more activity and aggressive behaviour than those for girls, and tend to be far louder. Boys are typically shown as active, aggressive, rational and discontented. Boys ads contain active toys, varied scenes, rapid camera cuts and loud, dramatic music and sounds. Girls ads tend to have frequent fades, dissolves, and gentle background music (Welch et al.)

Morley reports that many men prefer to watch TV with full concentration, without interruption, and in silence, and that many women watch with less attention. Some women prefer to watch and chat at the same time, seeing television viewing as a social activity. Women also refer more often than men to chatting about TV programmes with friends and workmates. One women (cited by Hobson, in Seiter et al.) declared ‘I only watch Coronation Street so I can talk about it.’

Fathers who become engrossed in TV programmes (most clearly in news programmes, apparently) are of course at the time less responsive to other members of the family. Some commentators have argued that watching in this way is a deliberate way for men to shut out the rest of the family. It is very uncommon for mothers to neglect the family in this way: they tend to maintain a monitoring role. Some may on occasion even watch primarily in order to make social contact with another viewer. This is a clear reflection of prevailing social roles in the home. Most mothers would feel too guilty to watch television as wholeheartedly as many men like to do, and the prevailing pattern of responsibilities in the home does not permit women to watch in the way that men prefer. As Ang puts it (in Seiter et al.): ‘Men… can watch television in a concentrated manner because they control the conditions to do so.’

Fathers are the ones referred to most often as controlling the selection of TV programmes on the main family TV set, though fathers often didn’t see it this way (Lull). In Morley’s sample, men were far more likely to plan a evening’s viewing in advance than women were. For many men the remote control device is effectively symbolic of their power of choice over programmes. Some women complain that their husbands often switch programmes without regard for whether their wives had been watching. Mothers only rarely take such unilateral action. This is a reflection of male power in the home. As one girl put it, ‘Dad keeps both of the automatic controls – one on each side of his chair.’

How media affects our perception on gender

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