In the world that we are living in today, almost everybody is using lies to evade the reality. Girls are taught to deny their true self while the boys are silenced when they speak out truths from their heart. This is because television has dominated many homes and thus dictating the gender behaviours and roles. Children at their early stage nowadays acquire knowledge from the television unlike olden days where parents took charge of imparting knowledge to their children, (Kircher, 2007 Pg 14). Gender being the cultural expectation of one being a boy or a girl, it has slowly faded away to be what is seen on television. The television is moulding the current generation with the few shows that are considered right by just a few people thus not depicting the expectations of the entire world. This essay focusses on the gender roles established in television.
At standard homes, the television set remains on for at least 16 hours of the day and the children remain glued there as long as they have nothing to do. Due to their naivety, boys and girls pick up the behaviours they see as what is expected of them since nobody is present to teach them, (Dill, 2013 Pg 217-219). Also, parents are not to be left behind as they also watch during their free time and slowly practice what they see instead of what should be done. This exposure to watching a wide range of programmes and news there is an image that is formed about the roles of each gender. As the young girls grow up, they pick up what is depicted on the television to be the gospel truth about being a woman and they strive unconsciously and consciously to be so. The boys are not left behind too in picking up the behaviours they see because behaviours do not occur naturally they are learnt through interactions and through what we see on television.
Analysing the image displayed of a woman on television, there are varied portrayals of the female. The females are portrayed as cooperative, sexual objects, victims of harassments, gentle, concerned with their outward appearance among others, (Kim, 2005 Pg 66-68). Most of this representation is negative and women and young girls receive it in their minds and it continues to be so. It makes the young women out there have low dignity for themselves and feel restricted of the opportunities available to them. Other women end up feeling unsatisfied with how they look. They keep searching for ways to change their appearance to suit that which seems acceptable from the media. In the process, some use dangerous chemicals that expose them to cancer and other health related problems. Media should strive to depict women as beautiful beings regardless of their looks.
Teen girls on television shows are often discussing issues of relationships and appearances, (Kircher, 2007 Pg 46). Those that seem to be concerned about self-development, academics and career are looked down upon. This sends the negative message on career and academics to teenage girls. They concentrate on less important issues that destroy their emotional being through engaging in sexual relationships at tender ages. Young girls who are not well guided by their parents end up thinking that academics is not their area. They focus on less important issues and end up with unwanted pregnancies and thus the cause of an increase of teen mothers.
Men are depicted as very strong, aggressive, financially well-up, independent, violent, less emotional and competitive. Their portrayal is not as bad, but still it has its detrimental side to the young men and boys in general. There are some messages that are meant to be for adults that at times, due to the aggressive and curious nature of young boys they end up getting such information. They get exposed to adult content and start practising at an early age. Also, there are other confused messages about the expectations from men that boys receive from the media. They are not supposed to speak up their true feelings since they are strong and masculine, (Dill, 2013 Pg 408). They end up being suicidal and engaging in drugs due to depression of suppressed feelings.
Women seem to be the most affected by the stereotypes presented on television than men. Women who are weak and the young girls are at risk of succumbing to the pressures of acting in certain ways, (Kim, 2005 Pg 78). In career, few women are taking up the challenge and succeeding. This is because in the media they present a message that women are not equal to men even in the careers they take. There are careers that only men can succeed. This notion has affected the women in that they feel they do not have the capacity to take up such careers and other high position. Women thus are raised thinking the will only get good jobs but the men will get the best due to the higher capability, but that is just a stereotype, (Kim, 2005 Pg 82-83).
The media should aim to convey other important information that is educative other than the trending issues of sexual assault and violence on women. The poor representation of the female should be improved as this only depicts that women have no major role to play while us its not the case. Stereotypes used on the media are just a limited view of the world and people should not overly rely on the media to teach every bit of life, (Kircher. 2007 Pg51-53)
In conclusion, there is so much that the media has taught this generation on the expected roles of each gender. This is evident in the lives of young adults on issues such as career choice, self-integrity, self-acceptance and expression of ones feelings and emotions. Parents, teachers and the media should strive to counter the wrong messages that are received by the young adults and children who have poor judgement. Failure to do this the young adults will grow into adulthood with such poor beliefs. It will thus become easy in defining a man and a woman. Children should be allowed to be themselves as boys and girls without much pressure, (Kircher, 2007 Pg 62-65).
Dill, Karen E. The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print
Kim, Kwangok. Developing a Stereotype Index of Gender Role Stereotypes in Television Advertising. , 2005. Print.
Kircher, Jan C. Another Look at Gender Roles in Prime-Time Television. , 2007. Print.
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