Digital media such as the Internet and video games have become increasingly important in the lives of children and youth. Even when young people are consuming other media, such as TV, music and movies, they are likely to be doing it through the Internet. As well, nearly all the media they consume, from TV shows to toys, have Web pages, virtual worlds, video games or other digital spinoffs associated with them.

Music is a significant medium in a young person’s life, particularly during the teenage years. While other media may occupy a greater number of hours, it is most often from music that teenagers define their identities and draw cues about how to dress and to behave.

Advertising, particularly for fashion and cosmetics, has a powerful effect on how we see ourselves and how we think we should look. Women’s magazines in particular have a tremendous influence on body image, with researchers reporting that teenage girls rely heavily on them for information on beauty and fashion, valuing their advice nearly as highly as that of their peers.

Despite the popularity of the Internet, movies and TV still dominate young people’s media use (though they are increasingly watching both online). [1] Given this widespread appeal, these media may have an indirect effect by influencing how groups or cultures view body image.

Traditionally, most of the concerns about media and body image have revolved around girls, but more and more, researchers and health professionals are turning their attention to boys as well. A growing body of research indicates that although boys are less likely to talk about their insecurities, they too experience anxiety about their bodies.

Learning Gender Stereotypes - Lesson

This is the second of three lessons that address gender stereotypes. The objective of these lessons is to encourage students to develop their own critical intelligence with regard to culturally inherited stereotypes, and to the images presented in the media - film and television, rock music, newspapers and magazines.The lesson begins with a review of stereotypes that are associated with men and women and their possible sources - including the role of the media. Students deconstruct a series of advertisements based on gender representation and answer questions about gender stereotyping about articles they have read.

English

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