• 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. How might a sociologist account for the high incidence of eating disorders among women?

    - that is, many have explicit homosexual conflicts.' (Gordon 1990 p65) In 'The Social Construction of Anorexia Nervosa', J. Hepworth (1999) interviews care workers; psychologists and nurses, to ask them about their opinion on the treatment and diagnosis of anorexics. When discussing males being treated for anorexia a psychologist accounts that they have only 'treated one boy with

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

    seekers, unbalanced and inaccurate reporting, including the 'spinning' of figures, and the criticism of government asylum policies. It is argued that the use of derogatory language plays an important role in inciting racist attitudes because such language potentially alarms people (ICAR, 2004).

  1. Popular American Culture - Beauty in the Media. America heavily relies on mass ...

    The argument is not to fall towards the side in which 'all' woman should not strive to improve appearance, but instead to be cautious about one's own health and not to neglect his or her own inner spirit and strength in the process.

  2. How is Crime represented in the Media

    Females commit far fewer crimes. Males commit crime five times more than female crime. The conviction rate ratio from male to female is 7:1 Ethnicity Arrest rates amongst those of West Indies origin are much higher than those of any other race group. Also as a result of racism they are at a disadvantage, possibly leading to crime.

  1. How does the media represent female bodies?

    A large number of people complained about the image of women portrayed in the advert. John Berger (1972) labels women in many adverts, "a sight", and nothing more. This contrasts with men who are frequently portrayed as being powerful and doing active things.

  2. In the popular media, white people are portrayed in many different ways. It ...

    White men have been portrayed in popular films such as Malcolm X, or Amistad as racist villains.

  1. Media and The Sexualization of Young Girls

    to prove that you can, or because you think you have to, or to be liked, without knowing what you?re getting into is detrimental to your health physically and mentally. By maintaining that sex and desirability are the prerogatives only of girls who conform to the restricted criteria of media?s

  2. To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception ...

    Additionally, the experiment that claims women have lower levels of weight concern after exposure to average models wasn?t conducted on teenagers and I wanted to see if teenagers find adverts with ?plus-size? models more or less effective than ultra-thin models.

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