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To what extent have media representations of gender changed in recent decades?

Thankfully, things have changed for the better, albeit very slowly, and we have access to alternative ideas from our own lives, and even from the media themselves. The media has been forced to change to keep up with changing styles and lifestyles. It was acceptable half a century ago to promote the theory that men and women, though speaking the same language, have distinctly different communication styles.

Unquestionably, men and women do have their differences and a woman is not simply a revised model of a man. Biologically, men and women have physical, emotional and mental differences, but these differences do not make women the weaker sex or men the stronger. Because of these influences, it may be possible to isolate certain patterns in the way males and females communicate. Not all women are emotional, just as not all men are unemotional. Each person should be taken as an individual, and the media has started to reflect these views in all areas.

If women and men are to be respected more equally than at present, and if representations of gender are to reflect reality, when and where must the change begin? To answer this we must look at when and where such biases and prejudices usually form. It is usually at home and at school, during the formative years that we develop our attitudes and to a large extent this is done under parental influence. So who, logically, can have a powerful effect on the future attitudes of young men and women?

When we look at the attitude of many parents, one of the keys is proper education that can penetrate homes and influence parents. Just as feminine roles have changed, masculine ones have too, and parents are equally influenced by these roles by what is presented to them via the media Eldridge et al For decades in the 20 th century, women were conditioned by the media to think that they were lesser creatures than men. Sometimes even their parents made them think in this way because it was the accepted belief at the time.

Female self-esteem was often based mainly on bodily proportions and endowments or the lack thereof. Men were not judged in the same way. However, although boys are still brought up to conform to masculine roles, the media has ensured that these roles are a little more flexible than they used to be. Not all men can be or want to be macho he-men. Men must also come to terms with the way feminism has changed. There are more fashion products and cosmetics for men, something that would have been unheard of a few decades ago.

The media has changed its attitude towards men who take time and care over their appearance. They are no longer viewed as effeminate, and in fact personal hygiene is positively encouraged. After all, it is a multi-million pound industry Courtney at al The media, while acknowledging it has improved for the better, still continues to perpetuate traditional gender stereotypes because it reflects dominant social values www. It is by reflecting such stereotypes that these images are reinforced and this therefore presents them to the audience as 'natural' www.

The media is still largely dominated by men, and men therefore dominate TV production. It is therefore understandable to see how and why the media is still influenced by such dated gender stereotypes, and why TV is presented from a 'masculine' perspective www.

It is still true that women in media roles are still judged by their gender rather than by their experience, ability, and intelligence. Many women are extremely frustrated by such blatant sexism and do not wish to be put me down on the basis of their sex any longer. Although the media has tried to rid itself of its old, typically offensive gender stereotypes, old habits certainly die hard.

To be fair to the media in the UK, much has been accomplished in the realms of masculinity and femininity. Feminism has drawn attention to the amount of violence and abuse by men against women and children. Boys still tend to be brought up to conform to masculine roles, but these roles are a little more flexible than they used to be. For example, there are more fashion products and cosmetics for men; it is no longer thought effeminate for men to be interested in their appearance and attractiveness Trowler These attitudes present a considerable hurdle in reaching gender equality, as they are taught to children and carried on through the generations.

A research program commissioned by Plan of over 4, adolescent children in different countries including the United Kingdom UK , Rwanda, and India, found that: One of the major principles of traditional masculinity that harms gender equality is that women are fundamentally inferior to men.

This view can be traced back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who based this claim on the principles of reason. According to the French feminist philosopher, Beauvoir, men consider humanity to be constructed in their image: Due to the fact that traditional masculinity discourages the expression of emotion, men rarely discuss their feelings.

Evidence of this is presented in the positive relationship between traditional masculinity and depression among male university students in the UK and United States.

Hanninen and Valkonen argue that the principles of masculinity inhibit the expression of weakness or emotional distress and the seeking of help to remedy it.

In other words, traditional masculinity is not equipped to respond to challenges that threaten its integrity, such as depression perceived as emotional weakness and gender equality. Changing or altering traditional masculinity should be more widely recognised as an important step towards realising gender equality. In light of this, some gender equality advocate groups around the world have identified the need to promote masculinities that are more conducive of change. MenEngage is a group for boys and men whose primary function is to advocate for equality between males and females.

Those who acknowledge the existence of gender equality, and seek to address it, agree that equality cannot progress without the contribution of males. By encouraging males to become more open and discuss their masculinities, it is possible to educate them on how their social roles and responsibilities impact women. Developing male attitudes towards open acknowledgement of the gender profiles they operate within is an important step in reaching gender equality.

Furthermore, this suggests that gender equality is achievable through the deconstruction of traditional masculinity as the hegemonic masculinity. Male stereotypes affect the manner in which males engage with gender equality, and traditional masculinity acts as the dominant masculinity for men. Although different masculinities exist for men, the idea of traditional masculinity remains the most influential.

Realising gender equality is difficult, because the fundamental characteristics exhibited by traditional masculinity defend against change. For global gender equality to progress, males must recognise themselves as fundamental actors and actively work to change the patriarchal structures, which benefit them to the exclusion of all others. Without the supportive contribution of males, gender equality is doomed to perpetuate existing power imbalances that favour traditional masculinity.

To progress towards gender equality, efforts must be made to deconstruct traditional masculinity. Connell, Masculinities , 2 nd ed. Paxton, Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective , 2 nd ed. Oxford University Press, , p. Runyan, Global Gender Issues Oxford: Westview Press, , p.

Routledge, , p. Gatens, Feminism and Philosophy: Perspectives on Difference and Equality Cambridge: Polity Press, , p. Mandarin, , p. Halpern, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, 4 th ed. Psychology Press, , pp. Ashfield, The Making of a Man: Peacock Publications, , p. Scott-Townsend Publishers, , p. Gender Equality and Development Washington D. The World Bank, , p. Cambridge University Press, , p.

Epstein, Deceptive Distinctions New Haven: Yale University Press, , p. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Mansfield, Manliness New Haven: Mac an Ghaill ed. If men are the more powerful people then why are they so easily threatened by something that rarely has any affect on women? This is because they are not more powerful, they have just always been taught that they are the stronger gender.

Why do men need women to feel confident in themselves, while women freely look at each other and themselves without a second thought? Men are brought up, just as women are, to believe that they are to find the perfect woman. They are brought up with a psychological need for a woman. Men need women to make them feel masculine. Some men feel that having a girlfriend or wife shields them from the gay community.

With masculinity in a male comes great vulnerability and complication. Men always rattle on about how had women are to read, but really they are just as hard to read if not more. The only reason the male body is a difficult text to read is because it is not exposed as much as the female body. The registration process just couldn't be easier.

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Masculinity is a topic that has been debated in our society very often. Many wonder what it means to be masculine, and if we can really assign a definition to such a one-sided term. Do individuals views determine what constitutes as masculine? Masculinity has certain characteristics assigned to it by our culture.

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- Masculinity The definition of masculinity; Is the fact of being a man or having qualities considered typical of a man. I was stuck in that sentence that what is the qualities considered typical of a man.

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Sociology Essay - To what extent have media representations of gender (masculinity and femininity) changed in recent decades. The Masculinity is one of the most popular assignments among students' documents. If you are stuck with writing or missing ideas, scroll down and find inspiration in the best samples. Masculinity is quite a rare and popular topic for writing an essay, but it certainly is in our database.

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Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! Feminism and Masculinity Essay Words | 4 Pages. contemporary society, hegemonic masculinity is defined by physical strength and boldness, heterosexuality, economic independence, authority over women and other men, and .