Analysis of Gender Sterotyping of the Television Show the Big Bang Theory

Analysis of Gender Sterotyping of the Television Show the Big Bang Theory

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Gender stereotypes are constantly around us in today’s society and are something we virtually cannot escape. Some individuals may learn gender stereotypes from their family or from peer influences, but one of the biggest contributors to this that is sometimes unnoticed is the media. An analysis of the television show The Big Bang Theory reveals one important aspect of the media: the messages it portrays about gender.
Stereotyping is the belief that all individuals with a common characteristic are the same in certain aspects. There are many different forms of stereotyping including race and ethnicity, but one of the biggest is gender. Gender roles have been a large part of our society for long periods of time, the gender role theory that suggests that individuals socially identified as males and females tend to occupy different roles with in social structure. It is even shown in children because they learn these stereotypes and categorize themselves by gender around age 3. Although gender stereotyping can be learned through many sources, one of the biggest in today’s culture is the media. The media presents women as an object to men, just something to be viewed; Sigmund Freud calls this the concept of “the gaze” where the men give it and the women receive it; it is common in advertisements. In television there has been a shift in the way genders have been portrayed through out history. Years ago in the time period around the 1970s, women on the television had the role of housewife’s who stayed home to take care of the family while men were the bread winners. By the time the 1990s came around there was a noticeable change in the way gender was represented on television. Women now had roles other than the homemaker; females and m...


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...with Howards. She, unlike Penny, is a character with more of a career ahead of her and is studying to earn a PH.D in microbiology. Although she is represented as intelligent and hard working, there is still a hint of gender stereotyping with Bernadette because she has a pink-collar part-time job working as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory. Her relationship with Howard also sends the message that the husband is the breadwinner rather than the wife because he is the mechanical engineer making more money than the wife who still needs a part-time job. (Butt, 2012)
Throughout history the television industry has been improving by portraying males and females more equally. Over all the television show The Big Bang Theory sends a general message to its viewers that males are more successful than females and provides multiple examples of evidence of gender stereotyping.

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