Gender and the Media
The purpose of my investigation is to find out how television programmes like ‘The Simpsons’ influence the way children behave. These programmes manipulate people’s ideas of gender because they show Stereotypical male and female role models this makes people think that they should be like them. My hypothesis is that programmes like ‘The Simpsons’ reinforce gender stereotypes. Mass media are different channels of communication including TV adverts, Billboards, Sandwich boards, Movies and TV Programmes.
The media can greatly influence our perception of men and women and how they should look and act by showing us how proper men and women should act and behave. However the advertising companies don’t just hire conventional models/actors they hire models/actors who are famous and who are considered beautiful and handsome by the target audience, by doing this they sell their clients’ products because everyone wants to be beautiful and when they see beautiful people advertising products they buy them to be like the advertising models/actors.
Furthermore some companies use unethical brainwashing techniques to persuade individuals into buying their product, they do this by making them think that they need to look beautiful and that the product being sold will make them, this ties to my hypothesis as it is how a stereotype Is created. A very confusing fact is that gender is not the biological difference between the sexes; it is how the sexes are perceived by society.
Stereotypes are how one certain group of people are labelled, it is how society thinks all of them should behave; it is a fixed idea on how someone of a certain type should act for example the stereotype of a superhero is that they are expected to be tall, brave and valiant, strong, good looking and have some sort of superpower. An example of male stereotypes is that men are expected to do all of the physical and manual work and make money for the family. Stereotypical women are expected to do all housework and look after the kids and their education.
During the Victorian times it was stereotypical for girls not to finish their education, as they would be married off and do all of the housework at their new home, however boys were expected to complete all their education as they were the ones who had to go out and provide for the families so they did not leave school whilst girls pulled out by the end of primary school and stayed home to learn the art of cooking and cleaning and looking after young children.
The purpose of my investigation is that to either prove or disprove whether Programmes like ‘The Simpsons’ substantiate gender stereotypes. This will show whether or not the media influences young adults, whom the programmes are aimed at, in a stereotypical way. I think that this branch of the media greatly influences a persons mind and the way a person thinks, as the viewers are at a very influential age. I have designed a questionnaire for the viewers of ‘The Simpsons’; the purpose of this questionnaire was to find out how different people of different genders are influenced by these programmes.
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