Imagine you have younger siblings or loved ones who watch a fair amount of television. How would you explain what the media teaches them about what it means to be the gender they are? Make sure you include females and males in your answer. Give examples from your reading and experience.

Expert Answers

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Since this question is based on specific readings and your life experience, you'll have to adapt your final approach to include them. To help get you started, though, here are some questions you might use to establish some talking points:

If you have a little sister, talk to her about what you see women on TV doing. What do the female characters in her favorite TV shows value? What traits are emphasized as most desirable—are they smart? Pretty? Kind? Thoughtful? Angry? Mean? How do the women onscreen talk to other women? When they talk, what are they usually talking about? What are their jobs? How do they relate to their families? What are they good at? What are they bad at?

If you have a little brother, talk to him about what you see males doing. What do they value, and what traits are they expected to embody? Are they smart? Handsome? Strong? How do they interact with each other? When they talk, what are they usually talking about? How do they relate to their families? What are they good and bad at?

Is there overlap between the groups? Are there any patterns you see describing one gender that you don't think would ever apply to the other in media representation? Why or why not?

What limitations, if any, do you think this puts on children being raised in a gendered social environment? Does what you're seeing on television mirror your own experience with gender in life? If so, how?

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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