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Examine the ways in which males and females are represented in the mass media

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which males and females are represented in the mass media I believe that the representation of males and females in the media is an interesting and important issue to address as it is evident that through television especially, females are depicted to be passive, anonymous sexual objects where as men are portrayed as hard working, dominant figures of authority within society. In this essay I will examine the different ways in which both males and females are represented in all types of media and the ways in which, according to certain sociologists this affects the way society perceives males and females to behave and how the younger generation are affected. With reference to newspapers, society is often concerned about the media representation of sexual violence against women. Newspapers often sensationalise the details of rape attacks on women and thus rape victims are stereotyped as good or bad, therefore deserving or undeserving. Joan Smith (1989) suggests that the female fear of violence is used as a basis for many TV shows for example, "The Shining" which adds to the notion of women as weak and vulnerable figures within society. In my opinion this cannot send a healthy message to young people of society if when reading exaggerated stories of rape ...read more.

Middle

However, Euguene Provenzo (1991) suggests that in games both males and females are strictly portrayed in a limited representation of roles. He found that women were projected to be passive and anonymous and men were associated as macho in orientation with both men and women depicted to be young and physically good looking. Even in games such as 'Lara Croft' in which a woman is portrayed to have some dominance and authority, they still depict her to be young and physically attractive to men. Regarding the subject of 'sex appeal', it is apparent that most women in films and TV especially presented tend to be under 30 years of age in which physical looks, sex appeal and youth are necessary attributed for women to be successful in TV. However this is not the case for men as often male presenters are over 30 years of age. Wolf (1990) believes that media advertising in particular presents a physical image as the 'ideal' body image for women to have even though for most women this is unattainable. Orbach (1991) links such images to anorexia and bulimia in teenage girls. This supports my belief that media is a powerful influence and therefore a negative portrayal of women will become visible to the younger generation who are socialised to believe such false 'ideals' to be normal and perfectly acceptable. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the main concern, I believe is the affect this has on the audience and the ways in which it affects their viewpoint. The 'Hypodermic Syringe Model' suggests that the audience is passive, homogeneous with the media as a powerful influence that provokes an immediate response from the audience. However I do not agree with this suggestion as it has been criticised for failing to recognise the different social characteristics of audience members. I believe that although the media is a powerful influence, most people are intelligent enough to realise that the media is not a microcosm of society, and reflects a very selective stance. Therefore I believe that the 'Selective Filter Model' presents a more realistic approach towards the media as I believe that as Klapper (1960) suggested that selective perception takes place as different people accept and reject different messages. To conclude, in general I don't believe that the media representation of males and females is perceived by it's audience to be entirely true as I certainly don't accept that women are passive, anonymous figures in society or the view that males are aggressive and should therefore be feared. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katie Jackson 12MH ...read more.

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