Background of the Study
It is much factual that media in one way or the other shapes peoples conception of the real meaning of either male or female. People do encounter a variety of different female and male role models in the course of every day's media consumption. The matter is that, though such different role models might glance at first and appear to be very varied, but individuals do wonder if they in real sense represent adequate range of male/female.
On the other hand, though media is a pervasive and profoundly much influential force of socialization, teachers and parents do differ with the argument. In real sense, youngsters are much vulnerable to the media teachings because, they lack critical capacity required to differentiate fantasy and the reality, to identify persuasive intention or understanding the irony as well as the disregarded stereotypes. The cumulative and unconscious effect of these media messages can lead to limiting the growth of kid's potentiality.
Mass media has represented one manner via which the structures of social society like the gender relations are transmitted to the people. People, who have in one way or the other internalized the roles of gender often, usually act in a way that is in consistence with the meaning of these roles. Though mass media has examined the sex of both offenders as well as victims, there are these researches that have looked at the gender of film characters, (Stanley & Pamela, 2003).
According to (Sarah & Jana, 2001) and (Brett & Juergen, 2009), have concluded that though sex is just a biological difference, it is a conditionally constructed attribute that has bee developed through the structured action process. Media has measured gender by femininity as well as masculinity. It is true that, through criminal statistic compilation, the proclivity of men performing criminal offenses is higher as compared to that of women; this is so especially in the case of violent criminal. According to numerous studies that have been carried out, it has been depicted that, the depiction of media on crime is greatly over represent the violence amount in the current society relative to other social problems. Apart from violence, in movies, advertisements have been used in media particularly TVs as well as newspapers to reach the human psyche, (Sarah & Jana, 2001). In these advertisements different researches have been concentrating on the way both female and men have been depicted by media. During advertisements, there're product which are either female or male as major consumers, as an effect, advertisers tent to use close ties between models that are used in the commercials as well as consumers to help in the product sell. This in one way or the other reinforces the stereotyping of certain gender role, by showing for instance that, men drive cars and drink beer, while the women have to make themselves pretty as well as taking the docile housewife responsibilities. For instance, in sporting goods firms, they seem to have the clearest sense of WNBA as new kind of audiences. As an effect sponsors have been showing least sexy images. In summary commercials that aired during WNBA, is a move towards more of non-sexy images, (Stanley & Pamela, 2003).
The effect of media on the maintenance and development of negative stereotypes as well as on personal social development generally has been widely with regard to many sources of mass media like the television. However, it has only been recent that such research has been taken to video games. .on the other hand, research on video games has just been concentrating on the impacts of violent video game play, (Alaina, et al, 2007).
It is a fact that, there is no single research that has taken into consideration the measures of both sex and the role of gender in a single analysis. This research looks at these measures by combining both male and female images representation in media, the role of media in education as well as program choice among different sexes.
Issue of Gender and the Media
Background of the Study
Gender is described as a set of traits that are used in differentiating female and male. This is especially in the cases of female and men. Relaying on the context, the discriminating traits vary from sex to social role to the identity of gender. On the other hand, mass media is a term that has been used to refer to all media technologies, which are being used for mass communication, as well as to the organization through which such technologies are controlled. In most cases, media has been used in shaping the public perceptions on a variety of much vital matters. Both via the information that is dispensed through them, as well as through their interpretations placed upon such like information. At the same time, they are also charged with a responsibility of shaping modern culture, through selection as well as portray particular set of values, believe, on top of traditions as reality.
It is much factual that media in one way or the other shapes peoples conception of the real meaning of either male or female. People do encounter a variety of different female and male role models in the course of every day's media consumption. The matter is that, though such different role models might glance at first and appear to be very varied, but individuals do wonder if they in real sense represent adequate range of male/female, (Lorimer & Scannell, 1994).
On the other hand, though media is a pervasive and profoundly much influential force of socialization, teachers and parents do differ with the argument. In real sense, youngsters are much vulnerable to the media teachings because, they lack critical capacity required to differentiate fantasy and the reality, to identify persuasive intention or understanding the irony as well as the disregarded stereotypes.
The knowledge and experience of the world to many children is not direct, having learned them through the media. It is true that, media is not a transparent technology at all; they never offer windows on the world. This is based on the fact that, during mediation of events and matters, media is much involved in the selection, construction as well as representation of the reality. In such a circumstance, media tent to reinforce and emphasize values and images of these involved in the message creation. In addition, these images and values are influenced by commercial factors. As an effect, the view points and experience of others are not aired or shown in a negative manner.
Male and Female Images
The representation of women and girls in media has been a subject of concern for a very long time. Studies have revealed that in forms of mainstream media, there are fewer female as compared to male, and those who appear, are shown in a very stereotypical ways. It is true that, gender messages in media have fundamentally anti-social impacts. Looking at everything from advertising, TV programs as well as popular music amongst others have higher chances of showing women and girls in the home, undertaking domestic functions like laundry, or even cooking, as well as sex objects who are there to serve men; as protagonist, who are not in a position of helping or protecting themselves. They are also considered as natural recipients of beatings, sexual assault as well as murder.
On the other hand, male and boys are also stereotyped by media in different circumstances. From GI Joe to Rambo, muscularity has been in most cases associated with machismo, competition, independence, emotional detachment, violence and aggression. In spite of men having considerably more economic as well as political power in different societies as compared with female, these kind of trends , though much different from these affecting women and girls, are very destructive to boys. Media has measured gender by femininity as well as masculinity. It is true that, through criminal statistic compilation, the proclivity of men performing criminal offenses is higher as compared to that of women; this is so especially in the case of violent criminal, (Brett & Juergen, 2009). Research has indicated that, the higher the rate at which children swatch television and browse, the higher the chances of them holding sexist notions about traditional male and female roles, and the higher the chances of boys demonstrating aggressive behaviors. As a matter of fact, the images targeting children are especially polarized in the way they portray boys and girls. In most advertisements for instance, girls are in most cases shown as being endlessly preoccupied by their appearances and mainly fascinated by jewellery and dolls. On the other hand, boys are being encouraged to engage in sports so that they can become engrossed by war play as well as technology, (Welch et al, 1979).
In addition, according to (Shari & Elizabeth, 2011), increasingly, kids are being exposed to messages about gender, whose target should be adult eye only. Such like images also assists in shaping the notions of little girls and boys in most cases have about who they need to be as well as what they are capable of achieving. In the context of other society's real life problems, the constant support of polarized gender messages has inflicted anti-social effects. Studies have revealed that, the higher the rate at which kids watch the television, the higher the chances of them demonstrating behaviors that are much aggressive. In addition, the connection between sex and violence is a lesson learnt from the mainstream advertising to some movies. This issue is especially troublesome in the societal struggling context of overcoming real life. The cumulative and unconscious effect of these media messages can lead to limiting the growth of kid's potentiality.
The Role of Media Education
The effect of media on the maintenance and development of negative stereotypes as well as on personal social development generally has been widely with regard to many sources of mass media like the television. Media has the capability of counteracting the side effects of polarized messages. This in one way or the other helps in understanding the construct of the media, as opposed to reflect the reality that, they do communicate in both implicit and explicit values. In addition, they have the capability of influencing the way individuals think and feel about themselves and the world as a whole, are vitally significant lessons towards the attainment of a society in which women and girls are seen and at the same time treated equally to men and boys, (Alaina, et al, 2007)..
Nevertheless, the best thing is that both parents and teachers have the capability of having greater impacts on the kid's development, as compared to the chances that media has. In real life, the issue of modeling alternative means of being either a man or a female, or in other words, resolving conflicts. This is based on the fact that, time spend in engaging children in imaginative play, as well as in various activities which tent to teach them pro as opposed to antisocial values, ultimately have the influences that are everlasting.
In many cases, mass media uses stereotype traits for them to make it much easier for audiences to identify the good girls or boys, as well as the bad boys and girls. It is much easier for them to come up with programs around stock traits as compared to the development of varied personalities. Stereotypes in most cases limit the individual's views of their own as well as of others and of the world's reality. In most cases, the media construct its own reality. The central point of the massages presented is driven by economical, political, ethical as well as social standards of the producers. In most cases, media has under represented women and girls and portray them in a very limited set of duties. The protagonists of violence are in most cases portrayed as a young beautiful woman. On the other hand, visible ethnic minorities in most cases appear only in limited duties. People, who are shown as intelligent, are in most cases portrayed as being unattractive also, (Shari & Elizabeth, 2011).
The issue of feminism has been under recognition in social philosophy for more than 50 years. The changes that have occurred in the roles of women in the western society during all this time, has been nothing short of phenomenal. Yet the media representation of women has remained the same. This reflects that according to media, the role and status of women has not really changed, or the fact that media is dominated by men, who are not ready to accept this kind of reality. In most cases, media tend to highlight representation of women basing on the beauty, physique, sexuality, emotional dealings instead of intellectual, as well as relationships as opposed to independence, (Craig, 1992).
In most cases, women are represented as being part of a certain context and working as a team. In most cases like in movies, they tend to take the position of a helper, or passive roles. This kind of passivity in most cases is extended to their victimhood. The representation of female that makes onto page or screen, tend to be stereotypical in most cases. This is because, it confirms what the society expects, as well as the trait which don't fit into the mould tend to be looked upon as being dangerous and deviant. The discussions dealing with female representation in the media revolves around the concentration on physical beauty to the near-exclusion of other values. The absence of powerful female role models, as well as the extremely artificial nature of such portrays which has little or no connection to the reality that is experienced by ladies across the planet. In summary commercials that aired during WNBA, is a move towards more of non-sexy images, (Stanley & Pamela, 2003).
People, who have in one way or the other internalized the roles of gender often, usually act in a way that is in consistence with the meaning of these roles. On the other side, male characters are mainly represented as being isolated and independent. If they surrender to being part of the family, is just part of the resolution of a narrative other than being an integral factor in the initial equilibrium. The physique of male is becoming more and more important as being part of masculine representation. It has been shown that, male are finding it far much hard to live as per the standards set by the representation in media, as ladies do theirs. This is due to the increased media focus on masculinity as for instance these found in men's magazines, as well as the rising emphasize on even white collar male employees, having the muscle definition of a professional swimmer. As media masculine representation becomes specifically targeted at audience having product promotion in mind, men are encouraged to aspire to be like role models that are seen in magazines. This is unrealistic target to set, as well as the awareness of such things is growing. Whilst others are being concerned about living up to the unrealistic types that are given representation in magazines, others are getting worried about what they perceive as being an increase in anti-male bias in the media. There is a rising support for the fact that male are unfairly represented in media, (Craig, 1992).
Research has shown that, viewing pleasure might be far much different for men and ladies. This is partially a question of program choice. Some theorists have distinguished between program styles which are either masculine or feminine. These which have been considered as being masculine include action programs; while feminine include soaps and romantic books. Apart from violence, in movies, advertisements have been used in media particularly TVs as well as newspapers to reach the human psyche, (Sarah & Jana, 2001). In most cases, action defines men with power relations as well as authority, aggression and technology. While in operas, ladies are define in relation with family concerns. The audience of soaps is majorly female, though also men watch. Some theories have argued that, the viewer gender is inscribed in the program in a manner that soaps in most cases address women in particular. This is based on the fact that, soaps addresses those individuals who value personal and domestic world. It has bee argued that, female uses soaps as a mean of communicating their own attitudes and behaviors indirectly. In women, watching, listening, readings as well as talking to others about opera are what many women term as a pleasure experience, (Morley, 1986).
It has been emphasized that, there are no differences in modes of media use as connected to biological sex differences, however, to social roles, in the home power distribution. In men, home still remains to be the main place of leisure, while for ladies even these working outside homes, still believe that, home is mainly a place of work. This is why it has been explained that, men prefer concentrating on media proceedings like watching TV with maximum concentration, no interruptions and silence observation. On the other hand, women have less attention. This is because, they watching while charting.
In most cases, male are the once who control TV programs on family TV sets mainly. Research has shown that, men are more likely to plan for an evening's viewing in advance as compared to women. The remote control is the symbolic power over program choice. Some ladies complain that, their spouses switch to programs regardless of their presence. As a matter of fact, men do prefer programs that tend to be factual, for instance, news, current affairs, sports and documentaries amongst others. While on the other hand, female prefer fictional programs especially romantic fictions in particular. This pattern is reinforced for gents by having a sense of guilt that TV watching is second best to other physical leisure pursuits.
When gents engage in watching fictional programs, they prefer what seems to being more realistic programs. Concerning women reading, research has found that, many women read romantic as an escape from continual demand of their daily work within and outside their homes. When women engage in watching news, they prefer local news other than national or international news. This has been explained as being to the fact that, ladies have a sense of domestic responsibilities, as for instance, keeping an eye on local crimes in case it has any implication to their families, (Morley, 1986).
Women on the other hand reject zany comedies, while male and teenagers prefer such like comedies. It has been suggested that, the domestic disorder might not sound funny, if domestic orderliness is their concern. Nevertheless, the tendencies for both gents and ladies to use media in different ways can just be easily be oversimplified. Different modes of media interactions are shared by both gents and ladies, and other factors other than gender might be in one way or the other is of much significant. It all resulted from the dominant model of gender relationships in the western society, (Morley, 1986).
This research will be guided by the following questions:
1. How has the media handled the issue of male and female images representation in its coverage?
2. What has been the role of media education ion its attempt in counteracting the impacts of these polarized messages?
3. What are the advantages of using media for the audience to identify good or bad boys and girls?
4. What are the factors that are highlighted by the representation of women and men across all media?
5. What are the program choices of amongst different genders?