Gender Role in Social Construction

Topics: Gender, Mass media, Epistemology Pages: 4 (1211 words) Published: March 3, 2002
This paper got a 3.2 In my RHT 160 College Class.... Here it is

Everyone's life is affected by social construction. This is the belief that knowledge is determined by society, and in turn (knowledge) is formed by the individuals that belong to the society. When an individual thinks of a doctor, lawyer, priest, engineer, or manager they usually picture males. While nurses, teachers, and housewives (emphasis on wives) are purely female professions in our society. This is social constructionist thought on what role a male/female should play in today's society. These may not be the professions of choice for the individuals, but what the individual believes is socially acceptable. "Most of the behavior associated with gender is learned rather than innate"(Chandler 5). People begin to learn what is right and wrong (according to the community) from the earliest of ages. The media contributes to social construction, as women and men are almost always portrayed in a stereotypical manner. By examining the way the media is presented, one can see the impact of social constructionist thought.

The impact that media can apply varies from society to society, this is because each society obliges to a different social construction. In European countries nudity can be shown on television, and is perfectly acceptable. For example, in the Netherlands:

Governments support massive, consistent, long-term public education campaigns utilizing television, films, radio, billboards, discos, pharmacies, and health care providers. Media is a partner, not a problem, in these campaigns. Sexually explicit campaigns arouse little concern.("Love" 2)

In this community the openness towards sexuality is not only acceptable, but is the standard set by the society. In the United States however, displaying sexuality is not acceptable. Kirby Anderson states that "what children see on television encourages them to take part in sexual activity too soon, to show disrespect for...
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