Gender Influence On Society

803 Words4 Pages
It is known that the media has always had an influence on society. It has easily stimulated the creation of gender norms and easily become one of the most prominent parts of gender socialization today. Gender norms determine how society views gender and what is admissible in daily living. According to Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, gender socialization is “learning society’s ‘gender map,’ the paths in life set out for us because we are male or female.” It comes about through family, education, and peers, as well as mass media. There is a wide range of media, including magazines, books, the television, and music that can contribute to this concept. These representations have powerful influence on what is displayed and can alter a society’s…show more content…
This process begins at a very young age. According to Socialization to Gender Roles: Popularity among Elementary School Boys and Girls, “boys’ and girls’ extracurricular involvements also differ, with boys’ activities (e.g. sports) emphasizing such masculine values of achievement, toughness, endurance, competitiveness, and aggression and girls’ activities (e.g. cheerleading) fostering emotional management, glamour, and a concern with appearance.” These activities differ greatly, and they are significantly influenced by gender norms. These gender norms can give a negative portrayal on women that oftentimes roadblock their development and future within a society. The stereotyping of men and women can quickly lead to inequality and discrimination. Stereotyping has become more of a grave issue because of the advancements in technology. These advancements in technology has furthered the concept of gender socialization. Through media, advertisers can characterize men and women through gender norms and roles. These ads can change the way society visualize the two genders. Today, more and more advertisements are beginning to gain the attention of…show more content…
Even by gaining a role, women are oftentimes cast as a support role, rather than a leading role. This is true in both television shows and commercials. This may give the wrong impression and give a negative portrayal on women in the television business. Another example of gender-specific behavior in children are toys. Girls are often viewed as playing with Barbie dolls and boys with GI Joe action figures. As quoted from Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, “most parents would be upset if someone gave their son Barbie dolls.” This is because society’s gender norms have boys characterized to be masculine and tough, not feminine and soft. Mass media can also contribute to this issue by displaying males as aggressive, while females are displayed as being more unassertive. This creates two very distinct roles as the norm in a society. An example of these two distinct roles are in television shows, such as Two and a Half Men. In this show, women are often viewed as a focus of sexual enjoyment for the main character. Knowing the stereotypes of men and women, we should not be surprised when relationships depicted in this show reinforces those
Open Document