Female Child Cognitive Development the Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

" (Naigle, 2005) Naigle states that while viewing the television has been liked to dissatisfaction in female adolescents with their body "there are no strong correlations linking this channel of communication to proactive drives for thinness or eating disorder behaviors like there are with magazine consumption. And within television viewing, different types of programming are more influential than others." (Naigle, 2005) Television has been found to "...distort and make light of serious societal issues." (Naigle, 2005) Naigle states additionally: "Across all the programs there was an average of 3.5 incidents of gender or sexual harassment per episode; 33% of all episodes contained some form of harassment. While harassment is not necessarily a main topic in situational comedies, it is used often for humor. The use of a serious societal issue for humor belittles the impact of the problem and reinforces stereotypes and negative perceptions surrounding the issue. This sends out the message that sexual harassment is funny; it is not meant to be taken seriously. Often sexual harassment is presented without being named. By not labeling the actions, they are seen as trivial and dismissible. This leaves adolescent females with the impression that such degrading and male-empowering actions are inconsequential..." (Naigle, 2005) Another problem is that the portrayal of women on television is such that they are "generally depicted as less serious employees. They are less competent, more emotional and reactionary, and less reliable than their male colleagues." (Naigle, 2005) A great influence on adolescent females are music videos, which are stated to be "...more than any other genre of television programs, have been found to have the strongest influence over adolescent females when portraying how women should look and behave." The work of Seidemen (1999) states findings that all television portrayals of "domestic cleaning persons, fashion models and prostitutes were females. One third of all women portrayed wore revealing attire or undergarments; compared to only seven percent of men. Males were shown as more aggressive and violent than women. And women were 40 times more likely than males to be shown as passive, dependant, and emotional." (Naigle, 2005) According to Naigle (2005) "If watching music videos has been found to be positively correlated to health harming actions, such as tobacco use and sexual promiscuity, in adolescent females, it is not a far stretch to imagine that seeing distorted and questionable images of a woman's place in society could also affect how an adolescent female develops her sense of identity and perceive her role in the world around her. It has already been found that viewing objectifications of women's bodies found in music videos can lead to feelings of body image dissatisfaction It is therefore also possible that the continued viewing of women in subservient roles could result in adolescent females believing that they are naturally meant to take a subordinate status in society." (Naigle, 2005) The study of Durham (1998) states findings that messages, both indirect and direct in nature actively promoted adolescent girls in developing, maintaining and using their sexuality." (Naigle, 2005)


Female exposure to media tends to cause the female to set unrealistic expectations concerning her looks and her sexuality as well as formulating in the mind of the female a sense of helplessness and powerlessness in her career. This media is all pervasive and influencing and comes at the female from all media forms as the female goes about her daily life constantly instructing her of what she must do, be, or become, in order to be 'good enough', 'pretty enough', or acceptable by the media-defined world society.


Durham, M.G. (1998). Dilemmas of desire: Representations of adolescent sexuality in two teen-magazines. Youth & Society, 29(3), 369-389.

Durham, M.G. (1999). Girls, media and the negotiation of sexuality: A study of race, class, and gender in adolescent peer groups. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(2), 193-216

Gentile, DA and Sesma, A (2003) Developmental Approaches to Understanding Media Effects on Individuals. 16 Oct 2003. Online available at http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/106027_02.pdf

Naigle, Debbie (2005) Literature Review of Media Messages to Adolescent Females. Feb. 2005. Educational Communications and Technology. Feb. 2005. Online available at http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/naigle/index.htm

Pipher, M. (1994). Reviving…

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