Gender Considerations of Media Content, Uses, and Impact on Well-Being

Authored by: Dara Greenwood

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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Much of the research on gender, media, and well-being has focused on ubiquitous, troubling suspects – the impact of violent media on the boys and men who disproportionately consume it, for example, or the impact of slim and/or sexualized images of women on girls’ and women’s body image, as well as on men’s perceptions of women. Content-analytic work has focused on the ongoing asymmetries, favoring men, in both quantity and quality of roles on television and in movies that may constrain audiences’ models for “possible selves” (Markus & Nurius, 1986). More recent work has focused on emotional liabilities that may result from social media use (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), which may lead to deflating social or body comparisons, and may be a platform for the reproduction of sexism and stereotypes. Empirical emphases on the “dark side” of media use and impact reflects our human (and largely adaptive) tendency to focus on problems to be solved, and remain critical and unfortunately relevant. However, there is also more to the story.

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