Media Portrayal of Gender Stereotypes - Gender Spectrum
Furthermore, several studies have reported association between the level of exposure to thin female model and eating disorder symptoms (eg. Abramson & Valene, 199130; Thomsen, Weber, & Brown, 2002)11. One study analyzed eating pattern of adolescent girls in Rochester, Minnesota and changes in fashion during a 50-year period from 1935-1984 (Lucas et al., 1991)31. The researchers found that rates of anorexia nervosa, a type of eating disorder with symptoms of obsessive fear of gaining weight, among those girls correlate with changes in body size of models in the fashion of a particular time period. The period with thin female models marks the time when rates of anorexia nervosa were highest. This effect infers that the girls were socially comparing themselves to popular female model images that they are exposed to during that time, as the Social Comparison Theory suggested. In fact, a meta-analysis of 156 studies on body dissatisfaction showed that social comparison is a predictor of eating disorder (Myers and Crowther, 2009)32. Thus, the unrealistic beauty standard in magazines is partly responsible for unhealthy eating patterns that arise from women’s distorted evaluation of their self body image. Disadvantages in Competency and Relationship Despite much improvement in today’s education system for women, some women may still lose educational opportunities and vocational competencies because of gender stereotyping in media culture. Women are exposed to magazine ads that encourage them to stand out by their looks, rather than on their intelligence on math and science domains (Kilbourne, 1999)33. Davies et al. (2002)27 (the study on stereotype threat discussed above) found that women who viewed gender stereotypical ads not only performed worse in subsequent math test, but also avoided math items in favor of verbal items in an aptitude test (figure 3) (while the opposite affect occurred for women exposed to neutral ads). Although participants were those highly invested in math domain and not in verbal domain, in the study they were immune to stereotype threat in verbal domains. Thus, many women may have quantitative skills but exposure to gender stereotypes in media may discourage them to compete in quantitative domains. In fact, part 3 of the study have found that women who viewed gender
Gender stereotypes are often incorporated into media and advertising
Gender stereotypes and/or images that counter gender stereotypes are one of the biggest rhetoric’s company’s use in order to persuade the masses to buy their product. In the ads below I will show gender stereotypes in ads and explain why they fit stereotypical gender roles and/or counter act them.