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Gender Roles in Media

There is little debate that mass media plays a significant role in modern society. Information and entertainment are spread through technology to people across the globe. Gender Roles in MediaHowever, the message conveyed by any form of mass media can be shaped, subtly or obviously, which can manipulate the opinions and attitudes of the audience. One of those manipulate messages is that of gender role.

Studying gender role in the media is a large, and sometimes controversial field. One of the most basic messages of socialization that is fostered by mass media are stereotypes. These stereotypes are often presented as reality, and internalized by the audience, often at a young age, and often without realization. In the effort to convey a simple message, gender roles in particular have traditionally been transmitted through stereotypes. In the 1950s, for example, television shows such as Leave it to Beaver portrayed the stay-at-home mother, a woman who cooks and cleans while wearing a dress, high-heels, and pearls. This was obviously a stereotype, but one that took hold in popular American culture.

Scholars maintain that gender roles in the media have created a society of male hegemony, one that has institutionalized male dominance over women in society. This is the power of stereotyped gender roles in the media. Even though reality is far different than 1950s television, mass media continues to largely perpetuate these stereotypes.

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