Doing Sociology #1: Gender Stereotypes in the Print Media (Content Analysis)
Collect samples from some form of print media that include images of women and men. Some examples of sources for pictures are:
• magazine advertisements
• pictures that accompany stories in newspapers or magazines
• daily comic strips
• pictures in children’s books
• pictures in college textbooks
• comic books
You should have a sufficient number of pictures (5-6 each) to make a reasonable comparison between women and men and to identify some generalities about the pictures. Make sure that you identify the criteria you use to select your sources. For example, you could choose to compare the portrayal of women and men in magazines targeted toward teen girls, for example, Cosmo Girl. Or, you might choose to analyze pictures of women and men on the front page of the nation’s major newspapers (e.g., New York Times, Miami Herald). For your paper, begin by explaining why you chose your media, then describe the similarities and the differences between women and men in the pictures. What gender stereotypes are present? How do the women and men interact, if they do? What clues, if any, are present about sexual orientation? What can you conclude about the portrayal of race, ethnicity, and social class? How might these images contribute to gender? Be sure to attach the pictures!!
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