No one would deny that the mass media is big business. According to the American Motion Picture Association, the Hollywood box office alone pulled in $41.1 billion USD in 2018 and that doesn’t include home entertainment services.[i] Media executives argue that the economics of the industry make it impossible to avoid stereotypes of women, but the numbers show that isn’t true.

The pressure put on teens through ads, television, film and new media to be sexually attractive—and sexually active—is profound. Not only that, but media representations of relationships often teach unhealthy lessons.

In 2017, a research group discovered that what boys are seeing in the media and what they actually believe are vastly different.[i]

Sports media also contributes to the construction of masculinity in contemporary society.

Advertising is a major source of stereotyped representations of masculinity.

Various media analysts and researchers argue that media portrayals of male characters fall within a range of stereotypes.

We all know the stereotypes—the femme fatale, the supermom, the sex kitten, the nasty corporate climber. Whatever the role, television, film and popular magazines are full of images of women and girls who are typically white, desperately thin, and made up to the hilt—even after leaping tall buildings or thwarting a gang of terrorists.

Women professionals and athletes continue to be under-represented in news coverage, and are often stereotypically portrayed when they are included.

They have ads of how you should dress and what you should look like and this and that, and then they say, ‘but respect people for what they choose to be like.’ Okay, so which do we do first?” 

Kelsey, 16, quoted in Girl Talk

The video game sector is the fastest growing entertainment industry and second only to music in profitability. Global sales of video game software hit almost $17 billion U.S. in 2011. [1]

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