Gender, Sexuality and Media

Media are resources which many of us drawn upon when formulating our sense of self and modes of expression and the ubiquity of Western popular media means that they are significantly entwined with people’s sense and understanding of gender and sexuality. Today, more than ever, media messages about gender and sexuality are complex and contradictory. On the one hand gendered marketing enforces a rigid gender binary that is most evident in the symbolic pink/blue colour saturation of children’s wear, toys, and adult cosmetics and toiletries. But On the other hand, we are now more likely encounter characters in film, TV and games who challenge traditional gender roles and complicate notions of normative sexual representations. In this lesson, we will interrogate these normativities and explore some of the ways that the construction and representation of gender and sexuality are beginning to shift in popular media.