Gender Stereotyping In The Mass Media

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No matter where we look, it is hard to get away from the influence of mass media in our lives. TV shows and commercials at home, radio stations in the car, magazines at the grocery store or book store, and of course the internet that most people carry around in their pockets are just some of the most common broadcasters of media to us today. Since it is such a big part of our daily lives, it is easy to presume that the certain ideals and messages supported in the media are going to influence people’s ideas and opinions. Gender stereotyping presented in mass media is a rising issue as media continues to grow in our society. Gender stereotyping or gender roles are basically the set of socially defined roles and behaviors assigned to the sex assigned to us at birth. “Our society recognizes basically two distinct gender roles. One includes the "masculine," having the qualities and characteristics attributed to males, and the other, the "feminine," having the qualities and characteristics attributed to females.” (Blumenfeld). The problem with stereotyping is that stereotypes are usually “incomplete, subjective and sometimes false image of the reality” and are most commonly negative (Wolska). Many advertising agency’s believe that stereotyping in media is a big reason for it to thrive, because it allows for certain audiences to be targeted for the product or show and are designed directly to appeal to that audience. There are many issues that come with the gender stereotypes in the media, but the two particular ones worth talking about how men and women are misrepresented in the media and the increase in gendered products being produced and advertised. In 2014, advertisements vary from product to product but many of them share the sa... ... middle of paper ... ... products price to range depending on if it is intended for men or women. Mass media thrives because certain audiences are targeted and the show, ad or magazine is designed to appeal to that audience. If an advertiser is trying to grab the attention of men or women, they feel the need to use the stereotypes already present in the media that the consumers are used to relating to. They don’t tend to think about gender stereotyping as bad, they just see it as audience appeal and business. If using the stereotypes is effective and gets the product sold, they’re going to use it. But getting away from gendered advertising, stereotyping in commercials and overall sexualization should be the goal of advertisers. We should want to buy the product for its quality and use and not because a half naked person is in the ad, or because it was designed specifically for our gender.

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