Explain why you agree or disagree with what this student said and/or provide an additional or alternative view of the story that he/she selected for discussion. Around 130 words each
Topic 1: The Gender Equality Debate; A Boost for Women in Sport
In America 40% of sportspeople are women, however only 6-8% of the total sports media coverage is devoted to them. And women-only sports stories add up to just 3.5%of all sports stories in the four major US newspapers. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, male athletes get $179 million more in athletic scholarships each year than females do. Additionally, collegiate institutions spend just 24% of their athletic operating budgets on female sports, as well as just 16% of recruiting budgets and 33% of scholarship budgets on female athletes. Some people have the argument that “women’s sport isn’t interesting enough”. And even though over the years the popularity of women’s sports is growing, unfortunately the media coverage and sponsorship dollars haven’t necessarily followed through and gender equality remains an issue.
When it comes to gender equality with regards to the sports world, women are shown much less respect than men. Not only do men make much, much more in almost every sport, they also are showcased more too. Almost every time that you flip the channel to watch sports, you are most likely to find yourself watching a male sport. This is because women’s sports are hardly ever broadcasted on live television and every male sport is. This is not fair to women as they work just as hard as men do for their sport but are given nothing to show for it in return, while men on the other hand are being paid large amounts of money for having the same set of skills.
Topic 2: Adolescent Vulnerability to Idealized Advertising Images
Advertising images contribute to consumerism in Western culture, perpetuating unrealistic body idealizations and societal norms. Durkin and Paxton studied the psychological effects of unrealistic female advertising images on seventh and tenth grade female adolescents. Participants were randomly assigned to view either idealized female advertising images or fashion advertisements. Factors such as body dissatisfaction, physical appearance comparison tendency, internalization of the thin ideal, self-esteem, depression, identity confusion, and body mass index were assessed. Body satisfaction and mood were lowered for participants who viewed female images for both seventh and tenth grade participants. Through the analysis of grade seven data, it is possible that advertising images are used to inform younger adolescents of societal norms. For older adolescents, advertising images may instill a feeling of failure because females may not believe they satisfy these societal norms.
Consumerism describes how individuals define their identity with the commodities they purchase. Producers often market their products in a manipulative way, selling an idealized and unattainable image to vulnerable consumers. People purchase these goods in an attempt to fit into societal norms and avoid social exclusion. Therefore, advertisements reinforce values and sell perceptions of normalcy through the perpetuation of unhealthy body standards.
Companies’ marketing techniques should be monitored to ensure they are not targeting adolescents’ in a way that will negatively impact mental wellbeing. Since adolescence is a crucial period for development, unhealthy body standards and toxic societal norms are damaging and could leave a lasting impact on a person.