Socialization - Gender Messages in the Mass Media

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Socialization - Gender Messages in the Mass Media

How Images on Television/Movies reinforce society’s expectations of gender.
The most powerful form of mass media that we enjoy in America is the television. What we see on our T.V.’s can have very deep and profound effects on our beliefs, our life-styles and our needs and behaviors. On most of T.V. women are portrayed as flawless, beautiful, hair of silk, skin like peaches and cream and God forbid if they can pinch an inch, whereas men are portrayed as hunks that are muscular, have beyond good looks and are rich, powerful and successful.
There is of course gender based bias in the shows and commercials played on T.V. The fact that most are targeted towards the female audience establishes this. For the domestic diva’s who run the households across America there are the women dominated commercials for household cleaners and products that must be bought and that is why women are the primary shoppers of America. The media also sends the message that it is the woman who is ultimately responsible for home and family and their cleanliness and happiness. Commercials are still using this ploy to emphasize the age old stereotypes of women. Then there is the modern woman who is portrayed as beautiful, fit, extravagant and works for pleasure or for show. The media uses gender based shows and commercials to bring about the illusion of happiness. Have you ever seen a laundry soap commercial portraying a mother about to pull her hair out because she is fed up with doing the family laundry? The gender rules are often distinguished by the activity and presentation on T.V... They use gender to portray the differences between the sexes. Women are usually used in food commercials because we all know women find comfort in food and men are used in the beer commercials because only god knows “women” don’t drink. Women are basically portrayed in relationships with other people as emotional, open and

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