Women in the U. S Media

Category: Culture
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Social Media a place for people to interact, it also enables users to create and share content in social networking. Sadly, it has also been a place where you find an immense amount of sexualization of adult women completely down to young girls. This isn’t something new to the media either. The concern with sexualization has amplified over the years as graphic websites become easier to access, celebrities are shown endlessly, and almost everyone having a social media presence. It’s starting to grow and worsen as we become more desensitized to the media as well. The pressure for teen girls and adolescents to conform to some sexualized narrative is at an all time high, a recent book by Nancy Jo Sales American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, provides a snapshot into how much of a concern this should be towards us. “Based on the interviews with more than 200 adolescent girls, concludes that social media often reinforces a culture of sexism and misogyny, adolescent girls are subjected to unasked-for penis pictures pressured to send nude photographs that then get disseminated to entire social networks(while failure to comply might lead to sexual rumors or other forms of shame), and competing with other girls to garner ‘likes’ online often by portraying themselves in sexualized way or belittling other girl online” (Stephanie V. Ng, 2016). As previously mentioned, this is just a snapshot into social media and the sexualization of females as it is increasingly getting worse with each passing generation.

Gender roles in the media, sexual harassment from men towards their female coworkers, how men objectifies women even now. Being where we are right now as a society, how much change needs to take place, and all the changes that will have to be made to even begin making a change towards making an impact on the medias effect on women today. Women are currently depicted in the media as such: They portray a female that needs a man in their life to get things done, also most of the time they are put together also both physically fit, attractive, and pretty much perfect. Women are also under-represented in a way that they are typically scantily dressed and relegated stereotypical roles dealing with under-representation, sexualization subordination, traditional roles, and body image. One of the examples that they use in the article of Analysis of Gender Roles in Media: “is how women seldomly appear on television also by no means a new finding. Three decades ago Gerbner and Signorielli (1979) found that television primetime males outnumbered females by a ratio of 2.5 to 1 in the years spanning 1969-1978 and that is merely just one statistic taken that I am telling you they found over 20 different roles to find the different rates between female and male roles in the media. Over the decade examined by Gerbner and Signorielli, rates the last count in (2008) the ratio was down 1.2 to 1 males to females on television primetime” (Collins, 2011). The overwhelming pattern of under-representing women begs the question of how this affects consumers of the media content. If young girls do not see themselves reflected in the media will this diminish their sense of importance and self-esteem? Will boys then conclude that women and girls are unimportant as well? At this point these are not possibilities that anyone is thinking about or trying to change. Bandura’s social cognitive theory (2002) suggests that “similarity to those portrayed in media is important to learning to form their behaviors” (Collins, 2011). This is only the shallows of the sexualization of females, we still must think about the fact that you not only have gender role differences, but then you have sexual objectification of women’s body image, and sex becoming a problem as well.

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While dealing with this prominent issue we are also starting to see that the sexualization of girls is linked to common mental health problems in girls and women linked with eating disorders: Low self-esteem, and depression. American Psychological Association (APA) released evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising and how media is harmful to girl’s self-image and healthy development. Sexualization was defined by the task force as occurring when a person’s value comes only form her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics and when a person is sexually objectified e.g., made into a thing for another’s sexual use. Other ways we see sexualization besides the media would be other media forms such as visual media or music videos what we like to call “new media” which has created new ways to have access to. The consequence of sexualization of girls in the media are very real and are already and more likely to influence negatively on a girl’s heath development. Eileen L. Zurbriggen, PhD, chair of the APA Task force and associate professor of psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz said, “We have ample evidence to conclude that sexualization has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development” (zurbriggen, 2019).

To conclude, social media is rapidly warping the minds of our women by repeating to them in videos, images, or comments made by peers and males they have crushed on that they are just simply never enough. Women are being told by the amount of followers and likes that they maintain whether they are fit, pretty, or cool enough. Social Media needs to start being accounted for when we mention the ways in which an Eating Disorder can creep its way into a young women’s life. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may all seem like harmless fun but they can also be a catalyst to a women comparing herself to others and starving herself for days.

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Women in the U. S Media. (2020, Jan 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/women-in-the-u-s-media/