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Portrayal of Women in the Media

Portrayal of Women in the Media

A recent UNESCO report describes the litany of common images of women in the media: “the glamorous sex kitten, the sainted mother, the devious witch, the hardfaced corporate and political climber.”


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Ksenia Sayenko

Ksenia Sayenko

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Curated Facts

African American women are more often featured in formats that are dehumanizing, suggesting animal-like qualities. This is most characteristically seen in scenarios where African American women are portrayed in clothing using animal parts with the print patterning predatory animals. Use of such animal prints suggests sexual stereotypes that have been historically associated with African American women.

Article:   Encyclopedia of Women and…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Advertising is a major cultural institution that reflects and models our lives. The constant bombardment of advertising images of gender, types of persons, social classes, and other groups influences out social learning process (Roy, 1998). ...Goldman (1992) points out that advertising is a major social and economic institution that seels to maintain cultural hegemony by providing us socially constructed ways of seeing and making sense of our world.

Article:   Women and The Media
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

...a female victim generally is pictured in a "clean" way, as young, happy, and beautiful; women victims do not have names and are killed or hurt not in the center of an action but often as bystanders. Female victims of violence are the norm in the media; in reality, however, men are more frequently victims of violence than women. This distortion reinforces the traditional portrayal of women as vulnerable.

Article:   Routledge International E…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The display of a character's gender refers to conventionalized portrayals of culturally established correlates of sex. Analysis of ads suggest that gender is routinely portrayed according to traditional cultural stereotypes: Women are showm as very feminine, as sex objects, as housewives, mothers, homemakers.

Article:   Women in Advertising- Wom…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Underlying the media's portrayal of women is an inescapable virgin-whore dichotomy. The women at home are the virgin types. The alluring sirens of the ads are the whores. As Gallagher pointed out, "Through th imagery of the 'virgin' runs a consistent stress on dubordination, sacrifice and purity. The 'whore'' imagery is connected with cruelty, inhumanity, insensitivity and unscrupulousness.'

Article:   Virgin Or Vamp: How the P…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Women with larger body types are underrepresented and presented negatively on television. ... Women in prime time advertising are more likely than men to be physically attractive, thin, and partially clothed... Larger women are often depicted negatvely - as less attractive and less likely to have romantic relationships

Article:   Media Context, Female Bod…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Research has shown that violence against women is a serious public health and human rights concern (World Health Organization 2000) and that the simultaneous presentation of women as sex objects and victims in various forms of media increases acceptance of violence against women... The American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007) reported that the sexualization of women and girls is related to numerous societal problems, and that increased awareness of sexual imagery and its consequences is important for improving the physical and emotional welfare of women and girls.

Article:   Women as Sex Objects and …
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Research has indicated that advertising in ... media has rendered distorted body image ideals as valid and acceptable, contributing to gender inequality and the promotion of ‘‘sexism.’’ Sexism refers to the portrayal of women in an inferior way relative to their capabilities and potential, and is manifested in the depiction of women in cliche´d traditional and decorative roles in advertising (Lysonski, 1985; Pollay, 1986).

Article:   Images of Women in Online…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The music industry often uses derogatory terms when referring to women. ... Such artists include Eminem, Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker and Korn, but are only a few of the dozens of offensive artists. Their CDs contain explicit lyrics... On one of the CDs musicians sing about cutting their mother's throat, and having 10 of his friends "take" his little sister's virginity.
Music not only affects women through lyrics, but through other forms of sexism. Because sex apparently sells, the latest trend in music, and especially concerts, seems to be just that - sex.

Article: The Image of Women in the...
Source: Michigan State University

...the mass media surrounds us with images of the “thin ideal” for females, an ideal that has become increasingly thin since the 1950’s and thus increasingly unrealistic for most girls and women. The messages and images that focus on the value of appearances and thinness for females have a significant negative impact on body satisfaction, weight preoccupation, eating patterns, and the emotional well-being of women in western culture. Research has demonstrated that the media contributes to the development and maintenance of eating disorders.

Article: Eating Disorders and the ...
Source: US National Library of Me...

The image of how woman should look is a powerful one, and failure for women is inevitable because the beauty is flawless -- done by computer techniques... Computer graphics can now generate a perfect real woman. ...
Only 5% of women have the body type that is idealized. They must be young, thin (models almost always have to have breast implants), and usually white.

Article: Summary of "Killing Us So...
Source: Western Washington Univer...