prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Genna Davis on women on TV

Posted by prof e on February 13, 2008

davis_prez.jpgGenna Davis, the fictional first woman president of the US, is mad and she’s not going to take it any more. To the point, she’s upset about the portrayal of women on TV. Research conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, on behalf of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, found that the ratio of male to female characters in films (G, PG, PG-13, and R) is 2.71 to one. In addition–even in G-rated films–female characters were often hypersexualized and shown with unrealistic bodies in alluring apparel. Animated female characters were even more likely to demonstrate these attributes than live-action characters.

Content analysis studies such as this one are often the starting point for further research intended to explore the link between media and public health issues such as low self-esteem and distorted body image.  While the existence of unrealistic media portrayals of gender, race, age, etc. are not sufficient for cause-and-effect hypotheses, recognition that the media fun-house mirror provides a distorted view of reality is an important first step.

More information can be found at the Geena Davis Institute website.

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8 Responses to “Genna Davis on women on TV”

  1. amanda spicola said

    I am happy that someone is taking a stand on the way women are represented on television. I dont know if Geena Davis is the right person to talk about the way women should be viewed. Yes she is an Academy Award winning actress, and the first women president on television, but she also used to be a model for Victoria Secret. those are the kind of women who make “real” women feel insecure. like i said im glad that someone is doing something about this issue, but should it be her?

  2. Kenneth Moses said

    While having a women president on TV seemed to be cool so some female I think the way she was portrayed was wrong. Don’t get me wrong Glenna Davis is a great actor but I feel as if women feel the need to look like her and even think have the same body image. The media now and days have this tendency that they need to have the sexiest, tallest, and best body type women on TV. This to me is sending the wrong image to the little kids especially the females who are just teenagers. I think the media should settle down when it comes to having women viewed in this way. Being sexy isn’t everything in life and I feel as if that is the example we are setting as a society.

  3. marcellus williams said

    its good that glenna davis is standing up for women. women get get slandered so much on TV these days. today they are patrayed as only sex symbols and thats not okay. they say sex sells, but thats not a good look for women because they are the main people getting slandered. plus its not a good example for young chidren, because some children are easily influenced. i think the media needs to give it a rest because sexy people aint everything.

  4. Rachel Stewart said

    I completely agree with the fact that women are expected to fulfill a certain image because it’s constantly shown that way on tv. People forget that it is tv and real people don’t look like that. I know that even on the movie Happy Feet all the female penguins have hour glass shaped figures with breasts. ok-penguins dont have breasts but its funny that even on animated films about animals, the females are still sexualized.

  5. Caitlyn Jewell said

    Just last week we discussed Agenda Setting of media. “Media don’t tell us what to think, but what to think about.” The comment was made that media is like a fun house mirror. We all live in a society of media. Without media, such as movies, would women have a certain image to fulfill? It is a big deal in the industry of male/female ratio. I love the comment above about Happy feet, that is point well made. The biggest issue in media has to do with children. I remember watching the Dove clip on body image. It is amazing to see how distorted images have become. Even myself has become caught in thinking that is the way to look and how skinny I should be. With the 2.71 male to the one female ratio in media does show the difference, but to make a change doesn’t mean to even it out by selling more female sexuality. We wonder why there are certain problems with teenage pregnancy? The issues with selling sex gives the impression that girls gain attention and acceptance by modeling the way females are portrayed in the media, and gives boys the impression to model the way male roles are portrayed in the media.

  6. Brittny Thompson said

    I agree with Amanda, its great that someone is standing up for woman on TV, but Genna is sort of being a hypocrite givin that she was a model. Models are the most exploited woman on TV. Although i know that sex sells and thats what attracts people to some shows i still dont think that women should be exploited in such a way that they are precieved in the wrong way.

  7. Kimberly Finnie said

    I’m elated that a woman is finally standing up and fighting against the negative way females are portrayed on television. Often times when I’m flipping through the channels woman actresses always seem to be the stereotypical cookie cutter woman. What I mean by this is a thin, tall, scandalous, extremely sexual and more often then not subservient housewife. Although, the image of woman have changed dramatically over the past decades with famous shows such as Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City being brought into the lime light. These shows still portray woman negatively(I mean look at all those woman they are all under 120 pounds) but such shows also illustrate woman as upscale business moguls…okay beautiful, ridiculously skinny business woman. I don’t agree with the above blog posts it’s somewhat disappointing that fellow female students are oppressing Ms. Davis attempt to help fellow woman break away from the stereotypical norm. Who cares that she’s a model shouldn’t we be thankful that such a beautiful woman is speaking out against such adversities?

  8. charles cruz said

    With Genna being a former Victoria Secret model and now saying she will no longer take it anymore. Is hypercritical by saying there is a major problem with how females are portrayed on television or in movies. Regardless of how one person may feel about how certain types of people are portrayed, the fact remains that they are portrayed that way because people wish to see them that way. Though I can’t say there is no problem either. Just that nature or natural is no longer what we as a civilization has come to expect and demand of ourselves and others. We expect every female to be 5’10” and 120 lbs and every male as 6’2” 190lbs with 8% body fat. We expect those good in school to always score perfect, the athletes to never fumble. The problem is no how we portray others but what we expect of everyone.

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