Gender Stereotypes In Culture Essay

1827 words - 7 pages

1. Describe our cultural gender stereotypes, objectification, and media portrayals of women and how these lead to violence against women.
Gender is the psychological characteristics and social categories that are created by human culture. Doing gender is the concept that humans express their gender when they interact with one another; it is done every day without thinking about it. Messages about how a male or female is supposed to act come from countless places. According to Helen M. Eigenberg in Woman Battering in the United States, “Gender construction starts with assignment to a sex category on the basis of what the genitalia look like at birth. Then babies are dressed or adorned in a way that displays the category because parents don’t want to be constantly asked whether their baby is a girl or a boy” (2001, p. 32). Schools, parents, and friends influence a person. Treatment of one gender differs from those in another. Gender roles also change.
Another major factor that influences millions of impressionable females and males is television. Not only does the television teach each sex how to act, it also shows how one sex should expect the other sex to act. In the current television broadcasting, stereotypical behavior goes from programming for the exceptionally young to adult audiences. In this broadcasting range, females are portrayed as motherly, passive and innocent, sex objects, or they are overlooked completely or seen as unimportant entities.
In the United States, as well as throughout the majority of the world, people are bombarded with commercials, ads, and articles on a daily basis. The information is used to appeal to the masses. Society perpetuates violence against women through the use of the media and television shows. Since we are socialized on a daily basis to believe certain ideas, this same process contributes to the violence aimed toward women. This encompasses the concept that impressionable young men may remain unaware of the impact of this violence by the omission of certain facts from news articles. It is also significant to see how the media contributes to the way in which the abused women see their role in the "creation" of this violence.
Media within our society constantly degrades women and sends negative messages about the ways in which women should be treated; women are becoming objectified in the sense they are viewed as objects with diminutive value. The media, which seems to endlessly show women as sexual objects, has the capability of limiting a woman’s potential and damaging her self-worth. More often than not the media depicts the manner people go about their daily life. People look to the media to determine how they should dress, act, and in some cases, even how they should perform sexually. Not only are most magazines directed at women, but the ones that are directed towards men are about vocation and political affairs, not about how to improve his complexion or satisfy his woman. ...

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