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Reality Tv and Women

Essay by   •  April 10, 2012  •  Essay  •  432 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,521 Views

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In recent years the amount of reality television has greatly increased. At times women are portrayed in ways that can be construed as inappropriate. College students view these shows, and a perspective on women can be formed. Some women are portrayed as snobbish, while others are portrayed as promiscuous. Women who in the "real world" are highly successful are shown as controlling, while those who do not fit the schema are made to look unsuccessful. There is an underlying motion that you should do whatever it takes to become the ideal woman. These shows could cause both men and women to have false expectations of women and affect the way that women are viewed. It is known that TV reinforces sexism. TV leads people to believe that what they are watching is real (Gunter, 1982).

There are several generalized attitudes about women in reality TV. In earlier years of reality TV, women were viewed as passive, dependent, and weak. Women were younger and more attractive than the males. Sex symbols and less rational is also how they were portrayed. Although, there is a trend to be less bias, the women are still portrayed in these stereotypes (Zemach, 1986). The differences can be based on culture too. The way that viewers perceive women's values can be based on what they see on reality TV, as well. Also, the way that women perceive their relationships can be based on reality TV (Cherry, 2010).

There can be several misconceptions of women through the watching of reality TV. Often times women are shown as controlling, self-reliant, quarrelsome, and very preoccupied with romantic affairs. They are shown to be business driven and not as driven by the desire to be mothers and wives. The dominant social groups are shown to be the successful ones, while the more submissive social groups are shown to be less successful. They imply that there is a correlation between sex and profession (Gunter, 1982).

Zemach (1986) found that the difference between the portrayal of men and women varies greatly. Men are shown as more independent, rational, aggressive, and dominant than women. The amount of television that was watched affected the views of those interviewed in this study.

The way that women are portrayed in reality TV can affect how they are perceived. While reality TV is popular, more people tend to watch simply out of habit rather than specific needs. While the audience is aware that the shows are artificial, they still receive pleasure from the TV shows (Papacharissi, 2007). Women should be shown in such a way that attitudes about women are not negative.

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