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M A N I LY N A . A G U I L A R | G E N D E R A N D
• Is when women and men are socialized for their roles that their cultures have
prescribed them.

• Focuses on the socio-cultural elements of male and female role expectations.

• Refers to socially learned behavior and expectations that distinguish

masculinity and feminity.
• Mass media consists of the various means by which information reaches large
numbers of people, such as television, radio, movies, newspapers, and the

• Sociologists study mass media especially to see how it shapes people's values,
beliefs, perceptions, and behavior.

• The relation between media and social power.

• Agent of socialization
• According to Lindsey (2016), people increasingly rely on the mass media,
especially television, to filter the massive amount of information we receive
from other social institutions, there is a profound impact on our ideas about

• One of the most documented, consistent findings is that for both males and
females and in all age and racial categories, heavy use of entertainment
media, especially heavy televisionviewing, is strongly associated with adherence
to traditional and stereotyped views about gender (Ross et al., 1982; Eron et
al., 1983; Bryant, 1990; Signorielli, 1989,1991).

Gender stereotypes persist and thrive in print media

across the globe, regardless of how media content is
adapted to a culture’s values and norms. Perhaps the
earliest research on attitudes about women in print
media is traced to what became a founding document of
the women’s movement.

The publication of Betty Friedan’s

Feminine Mystique in 1963 has challenged
the notion that the American woman
was completely content in her
traditional homebound role.

• In fiction magazines, it has been traced the

images of women from the emancipated
views in the 1930’s and 1940’s to the “happy
housewife” and glorified mother at the
1950’s and early 1960’s.

In 1950’s and early 1960, the ideal woman of magazine

fiction was a housewife with one or two children
(“homemaker” was the less common label). These
women may have experienced psychological difficulties
raising a family and attending to their husbands’ needs, but
they carried out their roles in exemplary manners.
Employed women were unfeminine and posed threats to
otherwise happy marriages; and since women were
content in their homemaker roles, they were also
experiencing less romantic upheaval.
The baby boom accelerated in the 1950s, and so
did the birth rate in magazines. Having a baby was

a good bet for saving a floundering marriage.

Married women who remained

childless and spinsters who
remained childless and
husbandless were pitied for their
wasteful, unhappy lives.

Fiction of this period cheered on heroines who, through virtue and

passivity, won the hearts of the men they would marry. Widows and
divorcees were portrayed as unable to cope without a man.

“The happy housewife was even happier.”


For women in a number of realms,


birthrate was leveling off. Many

thousands of women entered the paid
labor force, and the feminist movement
was making headlines. Magazines focusing
on the challenges of women working
outside the home emerged, some with
explicitly feminist orientations, such as
Ms. Magazine.

Older, more

traditional magazines
such as Ladies Home
Journal and McCall’s
began to include
articles about
options, and
women’s rights.
Magazines such as Savvy, New
Woman, and Working Woman,

geared to single women or

employed married women,
also appeared, offering
advice and tactics to
women who are coping
with increased role
And article topics related to
single parenting, adoption,
health, self-development and
financial security.
With over a half century of
magazines showing a standard
of femininity associated with

domestic life, appearance,

romance, and dating, it is not
surprising that today the two
dominant themes in magazines
such as Cosmopolitan,
Glamour,Vogue, and
Essence are, first, how to
be more beautiful, and,
second, how to get and
keep relationships with
men (Renzetti and Curran,
Advertisers in magazines such as Vogue, Cleo,
Elle, GQ, and Esquire typically portray women
as being helpless, passive, or bound or being
maimed and abused by men or animals. Men are
shown as independent, rugged, sexually risky,
and dominant over women and other men
(Stankiewicz, 2008; Leonard and Ashley, 2012).
The images of women reinforced through
advertisements testifying to the glories of shining
kitchen floors, soft toilet tissues, and antiseptic

Advertising images of women are based on

traditional gender role norms (Courtney and
Whipple, 1983; Barthel, 1987; Kilbourne, 1995).
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

An early major study on gender stereotyping in

advertising analyzed magazines according to the number of
males and females and the gender of adults, the
occupations and activities in which they were presented,
and the kinds of products being promoted (Courtney and
Lockeretz, 1971).
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

Despite the explosion of employed women, the data

showed that women’s place is in the home, they do not
make important decisions, and they are dependent on
men, who in turn regard them as sex objects. Women are
only interested in buying cosmetics and cleaning aids.
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

In 1970’s, over 30% of women were in the work

force, ads began to depict women in more
occupational roles, but the vast majority of women
were still pictured exclusively in the home (Lindsey,

Venkatesan and Losco (1975) found that there was a

decline in the “most obnoxious” ads, but advertisers
continued to be insensitive to the real world.
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

A woman is concerned with appearance and domestic life,

rather than with complex decision making (Culley and
Bennet, 1976)

In 1980’s and 1990’s not only maintain these stereotyped

images but in important ways, gender-stereotyped and
sexualized portrayals of white, African American, and
Asian women have increased in general interest and
fashion magazines (Kim and Chung, 2005; Hazell and
Clark, 2008) and also stereotypical portrayals of women
as sex objects have increased (Lazier and Smith, 1989;
Furnham and Bitar, 1993)
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

With nudity and near-nudity now found in even the more

established magazines, it is common to see undressed or
scantily dressed women selling a lot of products (Lindsey,

Car and boat ads typically show women in

bathing suits proactively draped over fenders
and on cabin decks.
ADVERTISING Print Advertising

Males represent “face-isms”, in that their faces are

photographed were more often than their bodies.
While females in these campaigns represent “body-
isms” or “partial-isms” in their bodies or part of their
bodies are more often shown and appear much more in
swimwear than do males (Hall and Crum, 1994)

Advertising carries over the images initiated by the print

media into television. But the images are even more
powerful and affect a larger audience.

Studies shown about gender roles in TV ads but

the results are similar to print ads.

In TV ads, she (woman) is portrayed in dependent,

subordinate, and helping roles to her husband, her
children and her male employer if she works outside
the home (Courtney and Whipple, 1983; Bretl and
Cantor, 1988; Lovdal, 1989; Silvas et al., 1993).

TV commercials emphasize that women must first and

foremost attractive in order to be accepted (Lindsey, 2015).

Girls are shown in more passive activities

and dependent upon another person or a
doll for entertainment. They learn how to
help their mothers assist in household tasks,
serve men and boys – especially where food
is concerned – and see how to become
beautiful or stay cute.
Magazines for women
persevere in the message
with emphases on beauty, Advertising
hairstyles, dieting, and artificially creates
fashion, “make over” images that become
article featuring before-
after photographs which
transform homely girls in
to alluring women bound.

Considering the avalanche The bottomline is that

of stereotyped and physical appearance is
sexualized portrayals necessary to attract and
messages of women receive ultimately snare a man.
in media, symbolic While career achievement is
interactionist predicts also a goal, it is
that self-fulfilling dependent on physical
prophecies follow appearance.
(Lindsey, 2015).
Mass media create false
consciousness, making people
believe they exert control
over what they view (and what
they think about what they
view) when in reality they
have little or no control
(DeFrancisco, 2014)
Lindsey, Linda L. (2016) Gender roles : a sociological
perspective / Linda L. Lindsey.—Sixth edition. 2 Park
Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN 711
Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA. pages 336-