Gender roles in the Media
Often when we see in advertisements, movies, or the media in general we see gender stereotypes. Where men are shown as tough, show no emotions, messy and unclean, lazy, like to take risk, and are predominantly dominate. Women are shown as more domestic and don’t play sports, love to sing and dance, are nurses instead of doctors, suppose to look pretty, and are quieter. The media plays a huge role in this because we are around media all the time, it usually starts at a young age it can shape our gender roles manipulating how we act, dress, and think. But is this a negative or positive thing?
Usually we think of gender to be natural and biological, but in fact its not we actually construct with all these fixed ideas about what should be censored “masculine” and “feminine” which is all influenced by gender expectations and the medias influence. This can be harmful for ones mental and physical health. Some think that gender roles are important to society, as men are biologically stronger in most cases they are the protectors, and how women are the child-bearers they will have the care-giving material instinct.
A researcher from the university of Warwick went to a school to observe the behaviours of both boys and girls, she noticed show some girls who enjoyed sports often avoided physical activity at school because they assumed it wouldn’t be a feminine thing to do, they were worried that they would look unattractive while running, or they were being mocked by their peers for not being good enough. The girls also put themselves on diets as they thought desirable women had to be skinny. The males who were also studied were all under intense pressure to demonstrate the extent of their manliness. This shows how gender expectations can produce anxiety, insecurity, stress and low self-esteem.
There are some who think that gender roles are important to society, each and every person is born with a specific purpose. Gender roles as males and females are very important as each have responsibilities of their own. Without gender roles there would be chaos all around not knowing what to do and what is their responsibility. With men as the protectors because in most cases men are biologically stronger, and women as the more domestic one as they often have the care-giving material instinct. There are expectations of course, as there is to everything. Society doesn’t have to recommend a boy to become a nurse, if he wants too, however no one is stopping him.
In conclusion, they are generally neither positive or negative instead they are simply inaccurate generalizations of a males and females attributes. Gender expectations and the medias influence can affect the sexual behaviours and sexuality of people. Men are shown are tough and risk takers, and women are shown as the domestic ones. Since each person has individual desires, thoughts, and feelings regardless of gender, these stereotypes are simplistic and do not describe the attributes of every person of each gender.