Mass Media's Effect On The Sexualization Of Young Girls

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Mass Media's Effect On The Sexualization Of Young Girls


Gender constitutes the biological and social characteristics by which people define male and female. One of the biggest social influences in Western Culture is media. Media influences American's gender roles and overall lifestyle. One of the most detrimental influences of media is the idea of beauty portrayed by media. According to the media, successful women must be extremely thin, physically flawless, and sexually appealing to males. The images that are portrayed by mass media have caused negative social, emotional, physical and psychological issues in women. The signs of this are everywhere, from the crowded cosmetic surgery offices, to the music videos with scantily glad young ladies. The impacts of the stereotypical images that most often come with female roles have caused significant harm to the female view of herself (Papadopoulos, p. 1-10). The media's influence on women has a very negative effect on a woman's self-esteem and body image, which may sometimes lead to dangerous and unhealthy habits motivated by the desire to fit media's standards of beauty. Media directly influences the stereotypical roles designated to each gender (Bale, p. 303). In several TV shows and movies, females are shown as being the homemakers in a marriage. Females are also supposed to be selfless, nurturing, submissive, and more preoccupied with their physical appearance than males. The males in the media are portrayed as more work-orientated and promiscuous. Males in media doing "feminine" things are seen as weak, and women who are seen doing "masculine" things are seen as either unappealing to the opposite sex or being the “bad girls” in the show or movie. Magazines for women focus more on physical appearance, sex, and relationships; male magazines have more work-orientated or political topics than they do topics about enhancing their physical appearance. Young females grow up with exposure to these roles in media and try to fit these standards. If they do not meet the standards, they may start to feel inadequate. It would be appropriate to say that media has a huge influence on the life and behavior of the individuals living in the society (Bale, p. 303). This paper would focus on the study of one aspect of the impact of media on humans. This paper would focus on the study of the effects of mass media on the sexualisation of young girls.


The term mass media refers to information provided through the internet, television, newspapers, film and radio, while marketing refers to the promotion of products or services. Both mass media and marketing have experienced exponential growth in the last 10 years, partially due to the introduction of new forums, such as social networking sites and smart phones, and also because of the consumerist culture which is pervasive in today's society. It is the content which is coming into question; the American Psychological Association taskforce on the sexualisation of girls (2007) defines sexualisation as “when a person's value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, when a person ...
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