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Gender Roles Influenced By Media And Society

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1414 words Published: 15th May 2017

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One usually obtains their gender roles usually through social interactions rather than obtaining it genetically. When humans are born, one are endowed with a small concept of gender. Manners and proper behavior is mainly learned through the social interactions with others and also the relationships with one another. Our gender identity is build through the interactions or experience from our parents, media, people from school, work or at home and also society can influence our gender identity. Depending on how we are raised greatly affects on how one acts as they grow up. The media can influence every aspect of one’s life, their lifestyle, fashion, physical appearance, and also behavior. Society has the power to change the behavior and people’s point of views way more than what genetics or biological can.

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The genetic make-up for all living beings mainly humans are usually born with might affect their physical abilities, but one usually learns how to act in specific ways by just watching the people around them. An example of this would be that when boys of a young age watches cartoons or anything that involves a male aspect, theses young boys are usually influenced by the characters or what they see on television. Usually these characters are portrayed to be in a violent and aggressive manner, which cause these children to act what they see. On the bright side mainly super heroes are the ones that influence young boys the most such as Superman,

Spiderman, Iron or even Batman and they are usually portrayed to be a strong, very athletic and brave hero which can influence a boy’s every action.

In cartoons like these there is also a downside to it to where boys are depicted to be destructive and usually aggressive as well to a point where it suggest that males should be very competitive to one another. Children at younger age are also more vulnerable to be influenced by television when compared to an adult due to the maturity level of one another. Not only just the boys also the older males are influenced by today’s media, televisions, music and society. An example of this would be the music artist Eminem where he wants males to be very violent and rebel against homosexuality and also be dominant towards females. Usually the younger teens are influenced by this because of the lack of maturity to make their own choices or decisions and these young males are gullible to a point where they are influenced by what they see. There was a Columbine massacre or incident in 1999 that proved that the boys who killed all those innocent students derived all of their ideas from certain movies and television shows. This proves that teens at a very open age that can be easily manipulated by society to act in predictable or spontaneous ways.

According to Diekman, author of “Stereotypes as dynamic constructs: Women and men of the past, present, and future.” states that “typical characteristics for women are piety, submissiveness, and domesticity, while authority, and social behavior, are traits commonly held by men”. When girls are young, they are usually given a Barbie doll to play with and are expected to grow up as the ideal Barbie girl who is very beautiful looking and supposedly very feminine. Girls are usually less athletic when compared to boys due to their genetic make-up; they just tend to not be athletic. Due to this genetic unfairness between males and females, parents would not treat each gender the same way when it comes down to sports. The boys are usually taught to be very aggressive because they are more athletic and competitive than girls while on the other hand girls are encouraged to express or release their feelings and its ok for them to cry openly. Boys are never encouraged to cry or complain about anything. They are taught to replace the feminine feelings of fear and sorrow and replace them with excitement or anger. Boys or males in particular use the phrase “be a man” referring to being tough or strong and one that never shows his emotions.

Children can also be influenced by their peers to act in specific ways at a very young vulnerable age. One can be made fun of easily if they are usually doing things that don’t suit

their gender. An example would be if a young boy or any male would easily be made fun of if they like to play with dolls, like shopping or just play in the kitchen. The society and media shows what types of things that certain gender should usually be doing for each gender. On television, it would usually have specific types of clothes, toys, jobs, etc for each of the genders and what they think each gender should follow. Due to these social influences, males and females act the way one does because of how society taught one to grow up to be. As for careers men are the dominant one because of how they can handle tougher jobs than a woman. Women are depicted to be caring for others or cooperative with anything and also just less valued. Woman careers are preferred to usually be models, nurses or even housewives.

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According to InfoRefuge on an article about Gender Roles and the Media, it states that “our society continues to respect and represent men more than women in every aspect of our daily lives.” People were raised by the society to think what men and women are capable of. Due to these circumstances these are usually the reasons why men mainly get “better” jobs than women do and also have a better chance of getting jobs in the work force. Gender stereotypes are everywhere and still occur today. For example, it is not acceptable in this society for a female to coach a men’s sports team at any type of level professional, college or either high school team male oriented teams. This is a huge deficit and disadvantage because of the fact that females too can be amazing coaches sometimes way more superior to most males and therefore the players would miss out the chance from learning and gain experience this coach. The female coaches also suffers from not gaining or they miss the opportunity to coach these male players and are often force to pass down their knowledge to just female players. Society is unfair to judge solely on one’s capabilities on gender. Therefore theses better jobs that usually pay a lot, females are solely at a disadvantage of getting the job due to their gender which is unavoidable.

Another influence that society has on one is when people begin to date. There are certain specific behaviors that are supposedly expected by each gender because of the social influence, custom and usage in society. Men are the ones that should be expected to pay for the date, drive and also ask the girl out and many more outdated manners that guys should usually do for a woman. Women on the other hand, also have a specific role in the dating game. When two people get married, society assumes specific roles according to their gender. Men are expected go to work to pay for the bills, put a roof over their heads and also put food on the table. According to an article on CliffNotes on gender stereotypes, it states that “Traditionally, the female stereotypic role is to marry and have children.” This means usually women are the ones staying at home to take care of the children or plainly be a housewife. These stereotypical roles are starting to deteriorate because of the fact that it’s society’s standards. Women are far more important that what society depicts, they also have the same capabilities as any other man or human being. They could also be working or doing the exact same thing as man could or even better. There are no biological or physical abilities that hold men and woman to these assumed roles in society.

Humans are born knowing which gender they are, but one learns their gender identity through the interactions of what we grow up with and learn how society expects them to act. There is no possible way that one could learn what one believes in and behaviors through biological influences; society has a much stronger influence on the way people act solely based on gender. Everyone in this world is born with some kind of innate ability on how to act relative to gender, but the way on is raised, how one interact with others and also the influences that the media has is what influences one’s gender identity.


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