• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the ways gender and sexuality are represented in the mass media

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Representations of gender and sexuality in the media. Representations of femininity, masculinity, sexuality and homosexuality gradually start to deviate from hegemonic definitions (those dominating the society), in which the media play a dominant role. As role of women in society advances, so does the variety of female representations. Similarly, representations of masculinity are changing in response to feminisation. Homosexuality becomes more visible in the media, signifying changing perception of LGBT community. It is argued the media plays the key role in shaping youth?s view of sexuality, however its coverage in the media is still subject to stereotypes and hegemonic values. Despite positive changes in representations, women tend to be more sexualised by the media still. Moreover, issues of homosexuality are largely still marginalised. The media shape youth?s understanding of sexuality and expressing it, which means its representation in the media is highly significant and should promote positive messages. BACHELOR argues the positive aspect of representations of sexuality is that importance of contraception and consent are emphasised in the media. ...read more.

Middle

Even Hollywood has improved representation of homosexuals. There has emerged such a genre as gay/straight romance. For example, The Object Of My Affection portrays a relationship between a straight woman and her gay neighbour. However, this marginalises the experiences of homosexuals because their relationships are not portrayed as equally important as those of straight people. In fact, homosexual characters can often be viewed as accessories to liberal and sophisticated straight characters. Furthermore, limited number of homosexual lead characters can be explained by producers? fear to lose investment and advertisers. As a result, representation of LGBT community remains marginalised. Although historically women used to be portrayed as home-makers and carers, representations of femininity have changed, largely due to influence of the media in shaping attitudes to women. Over the recent decades, a ?genderquake? happened in the society and the media, leading to women being portrayed as focused on education and careers unlike before when they were portrayed as aspiring to be housewives and mothers only. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some argue that a ?new man? was a creation of advertisers to increase consumerism among men. WESTWOOD argues that a rise in men fashion led to a concept of a ?metrosexual man?, i.e. Man who cares about his appearance. D.Beckham is an example how metrosexuality can be used to increase consumerism of a broad range of consumers ? men and women, straight and gay people. However, the extent of should not be exaggerated because, according to RUTHERFORD, retributive masculinity is increasingly promoted by the media through ?lads magazines? and new media, allowing men access media content that reproduces stereotypical views of femininity and masculinity (eg. Pornography). Feminists argue this is a backlash against the rise of feminism in the media that is perceived as a threat to masculinity. In conclusion, the media continue to play a major role in shaping the views of femininity, masculinity and sexuality. There have been positive tendencies in representation of all. However, changes of representations of masculinity and homosexuality should not be exaggerated because men start to retreat to hegemonic (i.e. Dominant/stereotypical) masculine image, while representation of homosexuals remains highly marginal. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. The importance of feminism.

    Research carried out in the 1980's by bretl and Cantor shows that females' occurring equally is primary characters in prime time T.V. Though this improvement, they found males were shown in occupations of a higher status than female's occupations.

  2. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    The film Child's Play 3 was blamed for influencing the two child murderers of Jamie Bulge. The national tabloid The Sun condemned the film and publicly destroyed copies of the video, this was ironic however as the owner of the newspaper also owns the televisions company Fox who showed the film three nights previously.

  1. Assess sociological explanations of the relationship between crime and the mass media.

    This resulted in the intensification of the deviancy of the marihuana user, and a change in the lifestyle and reality of the user, so that certain facets of the stereotype became reality. (The translation of fantasy to reality.) The police are THE most segregated in society, so when it came

  2. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    An article published on the front page of the Daily Mail on 16 December 2003 illustrates this well. The headline read '´┐Ż16,000', with the legend below explaining 'That's what the average asylum seeker's family gets a year in handouts (and its all tax free!)'.

  1. "Does the Mass Media Influence Youth Culture?"

    This meant that he was very much involved with the subject group and had a unique, what might be described as "first person", insight into how the gang functioned. David Hargreaves provides an example of the third kind of participant observation: observer as participant.

  2. Explain and Discuss Moral Panics.

    grave concern to the future well being of our society and that children are lacking in the moral values with which our culture is based upon. Whilst bullying is, without question an unpleasant and unnecessary occurrence, the recent publicity it has received has, taken what has in the past been

  1. To what extent do the media effects an individual's self-identity?

    pre-selected items Sociologists who carry out content analysis within the media may use quantative methods, qualitative methods, or they may combine the two. Tuchman studied how women are portrayed on American television from 1952 to 1974. Using quantative methods of research, she found that men were prominent in all types

  2. Media and The Sexualization of Young Girls

    Flaunt your sexuality, but don?t act on it. Good girls don?t feel desire, but need to transmit the playful message that they are ?sluts? or ?hotties?. These contradictory messages can only result in confusion and rash decision making. We are squeamish about children?s sexuality, so we have allowed the media to dominate this important discourse.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work