The current study investigated the differences in the representation of gender on male- and female-targeted channels with regard to recognition (i.e., the actual presence of men and women) and respect (i.e., the nature of that representation or portrayal). To this end, the presence of men and women on two female- and two male-targeted Dutch channels (N = 115 programs, N = 1091 persons) were compared via content analysis. The expectation that men’s channels would portray a less equal and more traditional image of gender than women’s channels was generally supported by the results. Regardless of genre as well as country of origin of the program, women were underrepresented on men’s channels, while gender distribution on women’s channels was more equal. The representation of women in terms of age and occupation was more stereotypical on men’s channels than on women’s channels, whereas men were represented in more contra-stereotypical ways (e.g., performing household tasks) on women’s channels. Since television viewing contributes to the learning and maintenance of stereotyped perceptions, the results imply that it is important to strengthen viewers’ defenses against the effects of gender stereotyping when watching gendered television channels, for instance through media literacy programs in schools.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2017
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