The Role of Media in shaping the image of gender in the Society

Introduction

The media fraternity has and continues to play a significant role in shaping numerous trends in most issues within the society. Media programs and their representations can influence the perceptions of people concerning the nature and functions of different gender in the society (Hermes, 2011).

Studies conducted about the contribution of the print and electronic media indicates that the ability of individuals to comprehend their position in the society depends heavily on the influences of media. In this study, the research seeks to explore the significant relationship that exist between media representation of the concept of gender, and the image shaped via the media as the social mirror through which the society views its self (Hermes, 2011).

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Significance of Study

Although numerous studies have studied effects of media on social issues, limited emphasis, confront the role played by media images in shaping the perceptions about different gender (Eisend, 2010). The research findings at the end of the study shall serve to enrich the current literature contributing toward the topic.

Additionally, the study offers an insight into the role played by the media in stimulating gender perceptions. More specifically, this research shall be beneficial in contributing toward the development of field of sociological studies. The research serves as a basis for conducting future studies.

Research Problem

Today, the topic about the role played by the media in influencing individual and general perceptions of people about the opposite genders occupies a greater space within the realms of debate (Eisend, 2010). Media studies reveal that the varied media channels have varying capacities in influencing the level of perceptions about different gender.

Although it is arguable that media representations can potentially dictate the society’s image about a given gender, other studies suggest the absence of statistical evidence about the effect of media in shaping gender

Review of Literature

Often, the way in which the girl-child is portrayed in the public space tends to lower her social value while favoring violence against girls. While media has the capacity to mould educative tendencies toward redefining the status of female gender in the society, gender stereotyping remains widespread within the mainstream media. These stereotypes have the potential of reinforcing historical attributes and behavior via advertisements and children-based programs.

Although the nature of media programs have acted to negatively influence both gender, studies indicate the females have suffered heavily due to media programs such as mainstream pornography. In a study taken by Robinson et al, they noted that although media studies have contributed negatively toward the creation of negative stereotypes, limited studies have shown focus on the effects of media on the perceptions of gender via the influence of youth pornography.

Gender studies across the world reveal that media has acted to underscore the value of female in the society. In illustrating this assertion, surveys conducted have suggested that the female have continued to receive less coverage on significant issues shaping the progress of the society.

On the other hand, extensive coverage on aspects that tend to misrepresent their values has exceeded usual attention. These tendencies offer exclusive examples of how the media achieves its commercial benefits through skewed representation of the two opposite gender. In a separate study concluded by Eisend (2010), the results show that women within the society continue to occupy less space in the mainstream media especially on aspects that paint their critical value.

According to Eisend (2010), cultural stereotyping has the potential of underscoring the relevance of gender value in the society through gender related advertising. In a similar but separate study, Hermes (2011) found that gender perceptions followed strictly from the manner in which the media fraternity models the position of each gender in the context of value creation.

Research Questions

This research study shall develop and explore four fundamental questions requisite in explaining and gaining understanding of the concept of media and gender. In explaining the phenomenon under study with a view to achieve the research objective, the study develops the following questions:

To what extend does the media influence the level of gender perceptions among individuals?
Is there a positive correlation between media representations and the nature of image portrayed in the society?
Does gender image depend upon the value-images played by the media?
Do media channels contribute to gender parities among individuals?

Objectives of Study

The research seeks to assess the impact of media representation on the immediate perceptions of individuals about opposite gender. In order to provide this explanation, the research aims at answering the fundamental study questions formulated in order to achieve its objectives. Thus, the research formulates three principle objectives that shall assist in formulating a theoretical foundation capable of explaining the phenomenon. The objectives shall include:

To explain the degree to which media influences gender perceptions among members of the society.
To explain the relationship between media representations and gender perceptions among individuals
To determine the effect of media on value creation among different gender
To explain the significance of media information on development of gender values

Research Design

The research shall exclusively utilize the available and relevant literature that document the impact of media and its contribution toward shaping gender perceptions. A critical analysis of the abundant literature relevant to the study topic shall be undertaken in a view to gain an initial understanding of the concept of media images and their relationship with gender perceptions.

Besides utilizing relevant secondary data, the research shall employ a qualitative study aimed at developing themes to explain the phenomenon in their natural setting. Therefore, the design plans to utilize interviews and questionnaires with a view of gaining insight into the role played by media in shaping behavior. In general, the study anticipates utilizing a mixed research methodology, which shall benefit from the advantages of both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Data Collection and analysis

The research data shall be collected through interview reports and questionnaires. The researcher shall organize the qualitative data into homogeneous groups from which to explain the underlying themes. To analyze data, the researcher shall utilize the statistical software (SPSS) through analysis of variance (ANOVA). In the foregoing analysis, the study variables include both independent and dependent variables.

In this case, the media images shall form the independent variable while gender perceptions shall take on dependent variables. To test the significance of the data, the researcher shall conduct a test-test using 95% level of significance. Additionally, the study shall use descriptive data analysis in order to determine the mean, median and modes as the central measures of tendency. The researcher shall conduct the analysis of data and explain the findings of the study.

Works Cited

Eisend, Martin. “A meta-analysis of gender roles in advertising.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 38.4 (2010): 18-440.

Hermes, Joke, “On Stereotypes, Media and Redressing Gendered Social Inequality.” Journalism Studies 12. (2011): 61-63.

Robinson, Tom et al. “Violence, Sexuality, and Gender Stereotyping: A Content Analysis of Official Video Game Web Sites”. Web Journal of Mass Communication Research 13. (2008): 1-17.

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