Men and Masculinity

Media Portrayals of Men and Masculinity - Introduction

This section addresses the representation of men, boys and masculinity in the media. It covers topics such as media stereotypes of masculinity, how children see masculinity portrayed in media and how various media contribute to stereotypes of masculinity and male authority in sports and advertising. It also addresses the role that the media play in shaping attitudes about masculinity.

How the Media Defines Masculinity

Families, friends, teachers and community leaders all play a role in helping boys define what it means to be a man. Mainstream media representations also play a role in reinforcing ideas about what it means to be a “real” man in our society. In most media portrayals, male characters are rewarded for self-control and the control of others, aggression and violence, financial independence and physical desirability: “for boys, violence and dominance are aligned with norms of masculinity.”