Gender Roles in Tween Television Programming: A Content Analysis of Two Genres
- 6.6k Downloads
This content analysis of gender role portrayals in 49 episodes of 40 distinct United States tween television programs aired in 2011 examined two genres: teen scene (geared towards girls) and action-adventure (geared towards boys). This programming is of interest because tweens are a lucrative market, they watch more television than any other age group, and television programs are created specifically for them. Furthermore, members of this special group are in an important developmental stage in which social and intellectual schema are established and identity and gender are explored. The analysis focused on the numbers of male and female characters in both genres, and the gender role portrayals of characters in terms of appearance, behaviors, and personality characteristics in the two genres. Results show that females, compared to the U.S. population, were underrepresented in the action adventure genre, but that the gender distribution in the teen scene genre mirrored the male–female distribution in the U.S. population. Overall, compared to males, females were more attractive, more concerned about their appearance, received comments about their “looks.” Females were presented similarly in both genres. Overall, males were shown in varying levels of attractiveness, and were portrayed more stereotypically in the action adventure genre. Exploring these results through the lenses of cultivation theory and social cognitive theory shows that tween viewers could potentially develop narrow conceptions about their range of possibilities in the world.
KeywordsTweens Content analysis Television Gender roles
- Aaron Stone. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.disneyxd.ca/aaron-stone/.
- Bandura, A. (2009). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. In J. Bryant & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (Vol. 3, pp. 94–124). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Becker, A. (2004). Three-way war over tweens. Broadcasting & Cable, 134(38), 6.Google Scholar
- Bilandzic, H., & Busselle, R. (2012). A narrative perspective on genre-specific cultivation. In M. Morgan, J. Shanahan, & N. Signorielli (Eds.), Living with television now: Advances in cultivation theory and research (pp. 261–285). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Brzeziski, M. (2004). Tweens: A billion-dollar market. Retrieved from http://http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-660978.html.
- Fish Hooks. (2013). Retrieved from http://disneychannel.disney.com/fishhooks.
- Frith, K. T., & Mueller, B. (2010). Advertising and societies: Global issues (2nd ed.). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
- Gantz, W., Schwartz, N., Angelini, J. R., & Rideout, V. (2007). Food for thought: Television food advertising to children in the United States. Menlo Park: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.Google Scholar
- Gram, M. (2005). “If we’re not going to Italy, I am not coming”: Children as co-decision-makers in the family. In K. M. Ekström & H. Brembeck (Eds.), European advances in consumer research. Gothenburg: Association for Consumer Research.Google Scholar
- Hannah Montana. (2013). Retrieved from http://disneychannel.disney.com/hannah-montana.
- iCarly. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.icarly.com/.
- Krippendorf, K. (1980). Content analysis. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Lindstrom, M., & Seybold, P. B. (2003). BRANDchild: Remarkable insights into the minds of today’s global kids and their relationships with brands. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
- Morgan, M., Shanahan, J., & Signorielli, N. (2009). Growing up with television: Cultivation processes. In J. Bryant & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 34–49). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Morgan, M., Shanahan, J., & Signorielli, N. (2012). Living with television now: Advances in cultivation theory & research. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Prince, D., & Martin, N. (2011). The tween market niche: An overview of past research, current practices, and a comprehensive research model. In J. Carland & J. Carland (Eds.), Proceedings of the Allied Academies’ Internet Conference, 13 (pp. 95–98). Arden: DreamCatchers Group.Google Scholar
- Rideout, V. J., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8–18 year olds. Menlo Park, CA: Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf.
- Roberts, D. F., Foehr, U. G., & Rideout, V. R. (2005). Generation M: Media in the lives of 8–18 year olds. Menlo Park: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.Google Scholar
- Romano, A. (2004, April 19). Tween and mean: Nick and Disney slug it out to score with the lucrative 9–14 demographic. Broadcasting & Cable, p. 17.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. L., Coffey, T. J., & Livingston, G. (2004). The great tweens buying machine: Capturing your share of the multi-billion-dollar tween market. Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing.Google Scholar
- Smith, S. L., & Cook, C. A. (2008). Gender stereotypes: An analysis of popular films and TV. CA: The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media.Google Scholar
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/starwars/index.html.
- Strasburger, V., Wilson, B. J., & Jordan, A. (2009). Children, adolescents, and the media (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Straubhaar, J. D. (2007). World television: From global to local. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- The Avengers. (2013). Retrieved from http://disneyxd.disney.com/avengers-earths-mightiest-heroes.
- The Suite Life on Deck. (2013). Retrieved from http://disneychannel.disney.com/the-suite-life-on-deck.
- The Troop. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nick.com/shows/the-troop/.
- Umstead, T. (2009, February 9). Where the boys are: Rebranded action net Disney XD takes aim at tween males. Multichannel News, p. 6.Google Scholar
- Van Evra, J. (1998). Television and child development (2nd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
- Wizards of Waverly Place. (2013). Retrieved from http://disneychannel.disney.com/wizards-of-waverly-place.
- Zooey 101. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.teennick.com/shows/zoey-101/.
- Zucker, K. J., & Bradley, S. J. (1995). Gender identity disorder and psychosexual problems in children and adolescents. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar