Essay by monashah922 September 2004

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Parents are not a child's only source of information about gender stereotypes. Teachers, relatives, peers and the mass media also influence stereotypes. The mass media has a large impact on gender stereotypes. The media has become one of the most influential resources, which all people frequently use in their everyday lives. Pretty much everybody watches television and movies, or reads books, newspapers, and magazines. For many generations women have been portrayed as sweet, seductive, and charming housewives. The male has always been "the man of the house."

The males usually get the better end of the deal when it comes to the mass media. Many of the major film directors are men, which shows that it is the male who has the authority and the control of the world of television. It also means that men have the opportunity to portray a world which suits them. What is shown on television is often seen through the eyes of the men who are in control, often resulting in the portrayal of a dominant man and a submissive woman.

This is normally seen in movies and in advertisements, for example in an independent study of the film The Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster plays a powerful F.B.I. Agent, but she is still frequently put into positions where she is made to feel inferior to men. Women are outnumbered by men in television dramas, cartoons, and in soap operas. The major characters in television shows are more likely to be male than female. Television has the potential to teach children about how men and women act in society, and to mold their views of what is expected of them in society as either a man or a woman. The male characters were generally more active than the female characters. Males...