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Men and their engagements with stereotypically feminine media


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A more detailed analysis and discussion of a specific subset of interviews from my dissertation: men who engaged with media meant for women, and what led them to do so.

Published in: Design, Technology
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Men and their engagements with stereotypically feminine media

  1. 1. Men and Their Engagementswith Stereotypically FeminineMedia Products CarrieLynn D. Reinhard Communication Arts & Sciences Dominican University
  2. 2. Gendered Media Products
  3. 3. Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology
  4. 4. Study’s Design Gendered Media Products 2X2 Factorial DesignCreated Four Situations = Meant for Meant for Four Mini-Interviews Men Women Used Only Once Only included in analysisHow Often those that had a Media Engaged Product to discuss for With Used each type of situation Repeatedly
  5. 5. Differences highlight Sports (Men), Reality (Women), Games (Men), Romance (Women),Action/Adventure (Men), and Drama (Women)
  6. 6. Analysis: Men & Cross-Gender Engagings
  7. 7. Why Stopped: Used Only Once• Hindrances in situation to engaging further• Content itself: not enjoying engaging • “I just didn’t like it. It was so long. And you had to watch so much just to see the few parts that I was real (sic) interested in.” (Gerard, Titanic)• Relationship with men: fearing ramifications • “I certainly don’t want other guys to catch me doing it.” (Barclay, Golden Girls)• Relationship with women: not seeking continuance • “…because the girl I watched it with I don’t even talk to anymore. We kinda ended on a bad note. I guess if I watched it again it would bring back some bad memories.” (Vance, The Notebook)• Self cannot relate: not connecting personally• Lacking preference: not desiring to engage• No new information: no gain in knowledge, ideas
  8. 8. Why Continued: Used Repeatedly• Facilitators in situation to engage further • Content itself: enjoying engaging • “I love to see women in control. And they take what they want. And I love to see people in that show, how everybody has a definite personality. …they’re like a family. That’s what I like the most about the show.” (Adam, Sex and the City) • Relationships with women: seeking continuance • “I always enjoyed watching movies with my sisters… So we could sit around and talk about it, make fun of it and the characters. That was a good time.” (Leonard, Oklahoma) • New information: gaining knowledge, ideas • “…plus the ability to again expand my knowledge about women’s wear, that pertains to me as a gift-giver to my wife, and the father of a daughter, I suppose that has some benefit.” (Elliot, makeover reality shows) • Self can relate: connecting personally • Preference: desiring to engage
  9. 9. Comparing Situations16 Once Only14 Repeatedly121086420
  10. 10. How Saw Appropriate for Genders When Used Only Once When Used Repeatedly• Genders different • Genders different• Empowers women • Empowers women• Highlights male stereotypes • Inappropriate for men• Inappropriate for men • Not gender, about humanity• Not gender, about humanity • Not gender, about choice• Not gender, about choice • Critical of stereotypes• No connection to gender • No connection to gender
  11. 11. Abstracting to Compare Situations16 Only Once Repeatedly1412 Gender Relevant = Genders different +10 Empowers women +8 Highlights male stereotypes +6 Inappropriate for men420 Relevant Irrelevant Transcend
  12. 12. Abstracting to Compare Situations16 Only Once Repeatedly1412 Gender Irrelevant = No connection to gender10 (answered “No” to if relate to how see8 appropriate)6420 Relevant Irrelevant Transcend
  13. 13. Abstracting to Compare Situations16 Only Once Repeatedly1412 Gender Transcend = About humanity +10 About choice +8 Critical of stereotypes6420 Relevant Irrelevant Transcend
  14. 14. Abstracting to Compare Situations16 Only Once Repeatedly14 Seem more Gender12 Relevant in Used10 Only Once situations, & more8 Gender Irrelevant in Used Repeatedly6 situations420 Relevant Irrelevant Transcend
  15. 15. Ideas• Less likely interpret gender appropriateness as relevant or related to why continued engaging with cross-gendered media product• Because something in media product or situation helped to not worry as much about gender appropriateness? • Helps from reasons: relationships with women, interest in the content, and gaining information from the engaging • Importance of reasons to man at that time could help downplay interpretation of gender appropriateness in decision to continue engaging
  16. 16. Future Analysis• Use same three categories of How Saw Gender to understand all aspects of situations • Would help theorization if continued to downplay role of gender appropriateness in other aspects of situation• See if holds true with women in their cross- gender media engagings • Could be less prominent because women have less concern than men at appearing against the norm for their gender • Highlighted by men being concerned about being called “girlie” • Dissertation analysis showed no such concern amongst women studied
  17. 17. Why Does This Matter?• If men cannot be comfortable with gender stereotypes associated with media products, then how can we expect them to be comfortable in other women-dominated spheres of life, such as being the primary child-care provider or the secondary income earner?• True, in Repeatedly situations, there was less talk of gender appropriateness, and less talk of fear of ramification from men, but still one primary reason for Repeatedly was due to Relationship with Women.• Our goal should be that men would feel as comfortable in women-dominated spheres as we want women to feel comfortable in men-dominate spheres.
  18. 18. Thank You!Follow this work at