Social Groups: Males

How are men portrayed?mens health

  • —Men are seen as more dominant – the stronger sex – in many forms of media.
  • Children Now Research found that boys see men in the media as leaders, violent, competitive, dominating etc. Why is this a problem?
  • —Easthorpe proposed that the ‘Masculine myth’ exists where men are encouraged to be tough and macho. This stems from 80’s action heroes such as Bruce Willis and Arnold Swarzenger. But this is a ‘myth’ as most men cannot achieve this physique.
  • —Colliers analysed male magazines and came to the conclusion that they sexualise women and include macho men in most of the images, this supports the gender role stereotypes.
  • —Postmodernist view- ‘The New man’ has appeared who is less macho and aggressive than previous stereotypes.
  • —Mort coined the term ‘Metrosexual’ to account for males who take an interest in their appearance, are more in touch with emotions and aren’t afraid to be caring and nurturing- suggesting the ‘masculine myth’ might be outdated and we are seeing a changing representation in males.
  • —Males experience a greater representation than females in the media- more males hold broadcasting, reporting and presenting jobs, compared to women’s relative invisibility in media corporations. Why does this matter?

How do media images of men affect our lives?


Evaluation: Beckham

  • — Gauntlett argues that men’s magazines now include considerate, loving family men- suggesting their portrayal has changed.
  • —These content analysis methods of analysing magazines can be subjective and open to interpretation.
  • —Decline of traditional masculinity with the ending of Nuts magazine shows the representations are changing
  • Implications of male representations – men afraid to express emotion could be linked to mental health and suicide rates in men
  • —Fluid identities- forever changing e.g. Whannel on David Beckham
  • Not just females unhappy with representations- recent male misinterpretation of ‘lads’ and ‘skirt chasers’.

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