There are three different systems in the ecological model, the macrosystem, exosystem, mesosystem and the microsystem. The macrosystem has the greatest effect on our society and culture, while having a cascading effect on the other systems. Today I want to focus on the greatest level, the macrosystem and its affect of media on our society. Media communicates messages to us, through images and messages that shapes our norms and beliefs of the future. Most of all it influences our expectations of ourselves, others, our life and of the world. Mass Media and advertising is a powerful source to large amounts of people at once.
In what ways do advertisers use violence and sexual content to portray women and men?
What is to be a man…
Sexism and Violence through media and advertising, teaches us what is to be a man, aggressive and tough. These are messages we learn, not messages we are born with. A billboard or a add in a magazine is what influences us and through family reinforcement, it continues to all different levels.
Also for women…
What matters? Hair, clothes, shoes. It is hard to not let anyone tell you how to behave when you are influenced through constant stereotypes shown through advertisements in magazines for women like Cosmopolitan which targets women and Seventeen magazines which target teens from the start.
When sexualized violence is used, to portray women as willing sex objects and men as violent aggressors, what effect does this have on both genders conception of sex roles and sexuality?
First off we must realize what messages are being sent to us and our generations to come and become critical and begin to question these messages. Why is it dangerous to accept these messages? Because we are going along with the status quo and the things we see in advertisements are soon defined as normal. If we don’t question them, these things just become another norm.
How do the messages we see through advertising affect the way we think and behave about women?
For example stereotypes are assumptions that have a great lasting affect on both genders conception of sex roles and sexuality. Sexual imagery is defined as a genre when it comes to advertising. The depiction of women’s sexuality and bodies are used to draw attention of viewers. Culture teaches us to be men and women through images and videos of advertising. The fantasy of female characters are used across all different kinds of advertising. It depicts women as ravenous creatures who desire sex at any time and are presented as aggressors who won’t take no for an answer. Multiple women drapped over a man, which is the “cliche” of also being defined as a man. Women are objectified sexual beings who are a lot of times only understood through a man as being even more sexualized and having value.
Advertising further sexualizes women’s behavior, especially when men aren’t around through objects of substituion.
Now for men, it is all about masculinity and control. They are demonstrated as controlling a woman and her body in many advertisements. Control, powerful and forceful are three key words that come to mind when it comes our depiction of men in advertising. Images teach men to feel entitlement in the real world and therefore are known as the pursuers or the one’s that want to be that guy in the advertisement.