The Role Of Gender In The Media

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The media has a very powerful effect on culture, shaping societal structures and operations. Dominant media forms have heavily assisted in constructing gender and genderalized norms. Advertising and mass media forms display codes that are associated with representing male and female attributes. These gender codes shape the way in which society views gender and assists in determining what is acceptable gender performance. It is through media’s reinforcement of gender stereotypes, codes and gender displays that shape the way in which society perceives and constructs genders.
Gender is not formed at birth, this self identification of being male or female is shaped through cultural, and social conditions. Media forms often
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These media forms are extremely influential and can alter the way in which society perceives gender.

The messages carried by the media about what is appropriate for males and for females also important influences on gender development (Calvert,1999;Comstock & Scharrer,2006;Pike & Jenning,2005;Purcheco & Hurtado,2001).A special concern is the way females are pictured on television.
In the 1970s, it becomes apparent that television was portraying female as less competent than males. For example, about 70 percent of the prime –time characters were males, men were more likely to be shown in the workforce, women were more likely to be shown as housewives and in romantic roles, men were more likely to appear in higher-status job and in a greater diversity of occupations, and men were presented as more aggressive and constructive (Sternglanz & Serbin, 1974).
Television networks become more sensitive to how male and female are portrayed on television shows, but researchers continued to find the television portrayed male as more competent than female
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Girls are now being pictured in more instrumental activities (behaviour that is instrumental in attaining a goal), but in the portrayals they are as passive and dependent as they were depicted as being 50 years ago! Boys are occasionally shown as passive and dependent today, but the activities they are pictured in are no less instrumental than they were 50 years ago. However, with effort, parents and teachers can locate interesting books in which girls and women are presented as appropriate
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