Gender roles portrayed in the media

Through the media in America, the issue of gender roles is still present. It feels as if it’s nonexistent because women have the same opportunities as men but despite this, the media continues to portray women as stereotypical house-wives.  This idea has stayed consistent. From a young age, children are exposed to commercials and television programs that emphasize gender roles. The media has continued to shape this idea and keep it in our society. Usually girls are shown playing house, as shown in the commercial above, or playing with dolls, and boys are associated with action figures and cars. The interview with children shows that they connect this image with what their roles should be in real life. When asked which barbie doll takes care of the baby and does the house work, every girl and boy answered the female doll. If commercials, for example, dealing with children’s toys, represented both girls and boys playing with the toy, there would be a larger possibility that children wouldn’t associate genders with specific toys which would hopefully lead to gender roles in society to come to an end. But unfortunately, gender roles portrayed in the media continues into adulthood. Commercials dealing with cleaning, such as the laundry commercial, a women is the one doing the work. Men are portrayed as strong individuals, who supply for his family, whereas women are typically the ones who take care of everything at home. This image has been burned into our brains.

Personally, when I moved to the states at age two, my mom was the one who was working and my dad took care of me. But when I would go to a friend’s house after a day of Kindergarten, it was always the child’s mom at home, doing the necessary work. It’s upsetting that although there are many more dads staying at home, taking care of the housework or children, people are still surprised at this idea. In my home, there isn’t a gender role. Both of my parents cook and clean. And I think that’s important to showcase to children because it shows them that it’s more than just a females duty or responsibility.


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138 Responses to Gender roles portrayed in the media

  1. es138090 says:

    In our society today there is a clear difference between men and woman mostly because of the media. Media controls us and tells us what’s good, what is fashionable and what men and woman should act like. I believe that we are all free to choose and do what we want, however we are often forced to act like others want us to act because of a thing called peer pressure. Our friends and family want us to act a certain way because that is what they believe is a right thing to do. Media as you said has burned this image into our heads that will be really hard to change.
    I do think that we would be better of making our own choices and not be forced into stereotypes like all woman are and should be housewives because if they aren’t they are not acting like woman should type of thinking. Some gender roles are fine and acceptable like it should be the woman mostly taking care of the child more than the man because it is the woman’s child, father should be there to support both of them.
    I hope that in time this way of making people believe what their role is in a society will change but this will probably not happen in my lifetime. Woman not long ago were treated like possessions and now in time that is slowly changing as we are closer and closer to being equals with the same opportunities, I just hope that we will stay on this path.

  2. ik145669 says:

    This is so true. In nearly all societies, people still far too obssessed with streotyped gender roles. Even though we’ve struggled to achieve equality in various fields of our society, we still beileve that man is boss and woman is secretary.
    There’s a short story that shows our fixed idea about geder roles.
    A man and his young son drove somewhere and they got in the terrible car crash on a highway. A man was killed on the spot and his son was seriously injured and immediately taken to a hospital. When they arrived in the hospital a doctor came to the boy and said “This is my son. I’ll save his life at any cost”. The question is: who is this doctor?
    First I thought the little boy has two fathers and the one dead was his stepfather and the doctor is biological father who has been hidden for super complicated reasons. But the answer was super simple, “The doctor is his mom”.
    Although we are living in the society where men and women are equally treated and have equal opportunities, we are still influenced by the stereotyped image of gender roles such as doctor=man and nurse=woman. Still, we see more female pre school teachers than male teachers, and more male politicians than female politicians. But society changes as time goes. I personally think it’s matter of time. It’s going to take some time to break out the fixed image of gender roles, but we’ll eventually get there where there’s no stereotype neither male nor female.

  3. vm112293 says:

    Media is one of the strongest agents of socialization it transmits messages about the type of people we should be. During the past fifteen years the number of stayed at home has almost doubled yet that is not what is portrayed in the media. Instead man is shown as strong non sentimental human beings who can conquer everything. Women are shown cleaning and being happy with the role of house wife, washing clothes, cleaning when come on no one really likes doing even when we are girls. Thus kids begin to form gender stereotype at a young age and even if we try to raise a baby in a different way once the face other agents of socialization such as education or media the efforts are totally worthless. The child sex, biological maleness or females can only be held until they face society out of their homes. Instead kids at a young age understand what their gender is, their psychological, social and cultural aspects of their maleness or femaleness. Right after they acquire gender they begin to stereotype about what is right or wrong for each gender. As it is seeing on the video the children will point the man doll as going to work and women doll for cleaning.
    I was reading an article on allure magazine and talking how does facial expression shows how sexually attractive a person may be seen displaying four expressions; happiness, pride, shame, and neutrality. Guess what the results were women smiling seem more sexually attractive to male judges while proud looking women appealed less to their sexuality. This I would think is due to man not being able to give women power. On the other hand proud looking men were more desirable for women than those that were happy. The researchers explained that this was due to man’s pride displaying high status, suggesting that he is a provider. The women instead seem as a friendlier and more approachable. In all the media has done too much to control our senses beginning at a very young age.

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