Representations of Gender in the Media

Erica L. Scharrer

in The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398809
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Representations of Gender in the Media


Individuals young and old can learn a great deal from the ways in which men and women and boys and girls are depicted in the media. Alongside other socializing influences such as family and peers, the media help form perceptions of gender roles, and can shape the behaviors that stem from those perceptions. This chapter first reviews the evidence from content analysis research to determine the most prevalent patterns in gender representations in the media, with particular emphasis on television, video games, advertising, and magazine content. It then connects the themes that emerged in the content analysis literature—underrepresentation of women, depictions of physical appearance, domestic roles, and professional roles—to studies measuring the influence of such media depictions. In doing so, the topics of gender role socialization and body image disturbance are discussed, and the social implications of such media effects are identified.

Keywords: body image; content analysis; gender; men’s roles; representation; socialization; women’s roles

Article.  13954 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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