What role do the media play in the tensions between men’s health, body image, and the crisis of masculinity?
Tatianne Iagallo Lélis, April 8, 2022.
Social Sciences – Media Studies
Abstract: Ever since the appearance of media outlets, major attention has been brought to their use and functions regarding sociocultural issues. Nowadays, media-portrayed scripts and the sense of masculinity are closely connected, media images being key to transmitting the socialization of a dominant model in gender roles within society. This undeniably brings forth issues when considering the mental and physical health of men. In this research paper, we present strong arguments to introduce this “crisis” of masculinity and how the mass media are enhancing the problem. The article shows that, at the same time, both men and women are trying to make a positive change and gain space to be heard through the media themselves. The movie industry, beauty shows, magazines, and other popular trends are at the core of this paper when explaining their influence in the socialization of men. Also important is the negative impact that the mass media have on the relationship between gender roles and their part in creating such dominant stereotypical models followed generation after generation.
Keywords. — Mass Media, masculinity, media images, gender socialization, media scripts, crisis of masculinity
Disclaimer: The views, information and opinions in the written publications are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect those shared by the Eutopia Student Think Tank (EUSTT) nor the EUTOPIA Alliance.
Agliata, D., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004). The Impact of Media Exposure on Males’ Body Image. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 7-22. Doi: 10.1521/jscp.126.96.36.199988
Barlett, C. P., Vowels, C. L., & Saucier, D. A. (2008). Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Media Images on Men’s Body-image Concerns. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27(3), 279-310. Doi: 10.1521/jscp.2008.27.3.279
Brewer, L. (2001). Gender socialization and the cultural construction of elder caregivers. Journal of aging studies, 15(3), 217-235. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0890-4065(01)00020-2
Castro, M., & Mara, L. (2014). The Social Nature of Attractiveness: How to Shift Attraction from the Dominant Traditional to Alternative Masculinities. International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences, 3(2), 182-206. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/rimcis.2014.36
Cosma, S., & Gurevich, M. (2018). (Re)producing the “natural man” in men’s online advice media: achieving masculinity through embodied and mental mastery. Psychology & Sexuality, 9(1), 86-97. Doi: 10.1080/19419899.2018.1434230
Gough, B. (2006). Try to be healthy, but don’t forgo your masculinity: Deconstructing men’s health discourse in the media. Social Science & Medicine, 63(9), 2476-2488. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.06.004
Hayes, B. C., Tariq, V. N. (2000). Gender differences in scientific knowledge and attitudes toward science: a comparative study of four Anglo-American nations. Public Understanding of Science, 9(4), 433-447. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1088/0963-6625/9/4/306.
Hoover, S. M., & Coats, C. D. (2011). The Media and Male Identities: Audience Research in Media, Religion, and Masculinities. Journal of Communication, 61(5), 877-895. Doi: https://doi-org.myezproxy.vub.ac.be/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2011.01583.x
Mendick, H., & Moreau, M.-P. (2013). New media, old images: constructing online representations of women and men in science, engineering and technology. Gender and Education, 25(3), 325-339. Doi: 10.1080/09540253.2012.740447
RMA Network. (2021). Blog: Male Infertile cases and statistics. Retrieved from: Male Infertility Statistics and fast Facts | RMA Network - Fertility Clinic. https://rmanetwork.com/blog/male-infertility-cases-and-statistics/
Rome, J. M. (2020). Blogging Wounded Manhood: Negotiating Hegemonic Masculinity and the Crisis of the Male (In)fertile Body. Women’s Studies in Communication, 44(1), 44-64. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07491409.2020.1752342
Shipley, W., & Cavender, G. (2001). Murder and Mayhem at the Movies. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 9(1), 1-14. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/dowload?doi=10.1.1.498.5740&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Young, A. F., Gabriel, S., & Hollar, J. L. (2013). Batman to the rescue! The protective effects of parasocial relationships with muscular superheroes on men’s body image. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(1), 173-177. Doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.08.003
Tatianne Iagallo Lélis
I’m Tatianne originally from Brazil but nationalized Dutch. I’m currently doing a Bachelor on Social Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and absolutelly in love With it. My aim is to follow Political Sciences and work in an international institution. Writing and running are my second passions.