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Sexism In The Media Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

Running head: SEXISM IN THE MEDIA 1

Sexism in the Media
Ada Anderson
Chamberlain College of Nursing/DeVry
SOCS 185N: Sociology
Feb, 24, 2013

Television and commercial advertising have been a dominating force for over sixty years, and people learn to specialize and are trained to create ads that entertain and provoke the viewer into buying certain products. The main purposes of commercials are to stand out from competitors, and to sell an idea or way of life for those who allow themselves to become influenced by the appeal. Women and young girls are often subjected and greatly influenced by these advertisements, and many from an adolescent age ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, the emasculated ads that show men enjoying beer, driving
race cars, or being successful in a fast pace professional environment shall also communicate another fantasy-reality that is absorbed into consumers psyche. Not to mention that both men and women will obviously see body images associated with their sex, and may form irreversible psychosis and eating disorders in hopes to attain what society sees as a proper sexy and healthy body. The recurring commercialized drilling of beautiful large breasted bony bodied females, and the muscular ripped stomached of the male shall create disorder and depression for those who don’t fit the mold.
The gender roles associated with advertisements are often prejudiced and stereotypical as I’ve stated previously. The woman “forges an intimate bond with her mop and find joy and happiness from their diet plans and diet sodas” are reasons why women are demeaned and disregarded as intelligent independent individuals in society (Yoder, Christopher, Holmes, 2008, p. 303). The stereotype used with advertisements geared towards men use sex, extreme imagery of sports or car relations, and oftentimes, “man sized” large burgers or cholesterol laden foods. The Yoder, Christopher, Holmes, (2008) study foretold that men viewed relationships in commercials as “his beer drinking girlfriend agrees that he can date her roommate…and men…focuses on thin and sexualized images of women” (p. 303). Therefore, although I’ve noticed this is a small example of the sexist commercials in mainstream media, using the major sociological theories pertaining to a functionalist view can tell us that these commercials are needed to promote stability in society. Perhaps, the functionalist can see that these commercials can manipulate the mind of the populace, through punishments and guilt, because of a lack of beauty, body image, and a fantasy of dream-like situations whereupon social order may be the result. The functionalists would see the reinforcing attributes of advertising and through
consensus, will create a stable and will organized society. In the macro level, reinforcements can be made in society through using these stereotypical and sexist messages.
The conflict perspective would see these cultural manipulations of society are a struggle between illusion and reality of societal life concerning the sexes. The male dominated production of commercials where the women are often shown in either a maternal homemaker image or the sexy young bikini clad imbecile displays an inequality on the screen, yet also a power struggle with actual reality. The sexism through subtle images, on the macro level, will thus cause inequality for women by not displaying them in roles of professionalism, power, and intellect. Commercials have been found to “affect women’s specific aspirations regarding leadership and did so by activating gender stereotyping…short term exposure...

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