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CASE STUDY – The extent of sexualisation of women in UK leading tabloids

CASE STUDY – The extent of sexualisation of women in UK leading tabloidsCase study based on the proposal I have done for this project. I would love you to develop my ideas further and critically analyse them. Please use the bibiliography provided and same REFERENCING STYLE. always add quotation pape numbers onto a reference when you can.Topic: The extent of sexualisation of women in UK leading tabloidsSummary of the topicToday, it is common for tabloid magazines such as sport, health and lifestyle magazines to sexualize and objectify women. The increased representation of women as sexual objects in the media is one of the most significant developments in modern popular culture. However, there is a growing debate regarding the sexualisation of women in mass media. One side of the divide contends that the world has developed to be “hyper sexualised” and individuals are retrieving pornographic and sexual resources at a tender age (Barker & Duschinsky, 2012). Exposure to sexual and pornographic materials puts individuals at risk of sexual violence, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Sexualisation has a greater impact on children as they are at their developmental stage. Conversely, there is a post-feminist argument that the decision to engage with sexualised materials is a show of autonomy, freedom and choice (Barker & Duschinsky, 2012). Due to this divide in societies, popular magazines and tabloids continue to use sexualised images of women to promote their product and financially benefit from it. Within my paper I am intending on exploring the extent of sexualisation of women in leading British tabloids.Aims:– To explore the ways in which women are being sexualised and objectified in tabloids.– Investigate how differently men and women are presented in the media.– Explore the extent to which tabloid media has set pressure on female body image.– Has the Public become desensitised to nudity presented in the press?Literature reviewThe major theme in tabloids and magazines is that women and girls need to be sexually attractive to get the attention of men. It is common for magazines and tabloids to display women who are posed and dressed in ways to draw attention to sexual features. Moreover, such tabloids and magazines offer advice on diet, clothing, exercise and hairstyle to make women appear beautiful (Gill, 2008). In addition to providing advice, some tabloids and magazines also contain highly sexualized images of women that blur the distinction between mainstream media and pornography. With most people accessing the Internet today, the sexualisation of women is expected to increase. Technology has created an avenue for sharing sexualized images of women (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2008).Men and women are under increased pressure to display sexualized images of themselves through popular online social media applications such as Instagram. For example, Ringrose (2010) reported that girls were under increasing pressure to display their images in knickers and bras whereas men sought to display their masculinity through social networking sites. However, the way the sexualized images are consumed differs between men and women. A study by Jakubowicz and McClelland (2008) found that girls who viewed Nuts and Zoo magazines were upset or offended by the images of topless women.Sexual representation creates an ideal image that is not possible to attain. Moreover, self-centred sexual pleasure and nudity are the dominant themes in magazines and this limits the representation of women to sexual objects. For instance, the UK Nuts magazine generally features over 100 images of women, and almost a third of them are topless. Expression of sexuality in tabloids and magazines consistently privilege a male sexual drive discourse while depicting women as sexual consumerism and sexual prey. Thus, gendered sexual images are normalized and re- inscribed (Menard & Kleinplatz, 2008). According to Coy and Horvath (2011), tabloids and magazines that display sexualized images endorse typical sexual norms. Although the images in these magazines contain content relevant to women, they are based around securing sexual rewards for men. Thus, these magazines can activate stereotypes regarding women as sex objects (Coy & Horvath, 2011). With increased Internet penetration, children are also accessing sexualized images. Exposure to sexualized images can encourage children to risky behaviours such as sexual violence. As such, it is essential to examine the extent of sexualisation in leading UK tabloids.Conceptual Framework and theoriesMost young females often look upon successful women as role models. Not only do the young admire the skills of the role models, but also their social character (Andrea & John, 2013). Media images are also important in the lives of young people, especially when they are at the stage of sex-role exploration and gender identity development (Hardin, Simpson, Whiteside & Garris, 2007). Thus, media has a significant influence on the beliefs of young people regarding the assessment of their own bodies (Daniels, 2009). According to the objectification theory, objectification of women can occur directly or indirectly. The first of these involves internalizing sexual objectification experience while the second involves the direct experience of sexual objectification (Fredrickson & Roberts, 2011). However, regardless of the way objectification occurs, it has an effect on the perceptions of individuals.Research MethodsIn order to understand the extent of sexualisation in the UK, I have selected The Sun and The Daily Mail as the two leading British tabloids. These two tabloids have been selected because of their wide readership and different content and editorial style. This approach allows for an analysis across two different styles of magazines to identify any differences in their approach to sexualisation. The study relies of the extraction of all images of a sexual nature displayed in the two tabloids between 1st and 7th February 2016. The period of one week was selected because the tabloids are published every day, and are therefore considered to provide sufficient data for the analysis purposes. In investigating the extent of sexualisation, the grounded theory approach has been adopted. The grounded theory approach is a methodology that enables a researcher to derive theory from empirical data (Liebenberg, Nora & Michael, 2012). The theory is appropriate for analysing images because the process involves connecting the intention of creating the image and its perceptions (Banks, 2007). Thus, the tabloid’s images with be examined independently to identify common patterns and themes. By examining the common themes, insight will be gained into the extent of sexualisation of women in the leading UK tabloids.BibliographyBanks, M. (2007) Using Visual Data in Qualitative Research, Los Angeles: Sage.Andrea, R., & John, B. (2013) Sexualized Representation of Female Athletes in the Media: How Does It Affect Female College Athletes’ Body Perceptions?. International Journal of Sport Communication, Volume 6, pp. 274-287.Barker, M., & Duschinsky, R. (2012) Sexualisation’s four faces: sexualisation and gender stereotyping in the Bailey Review. Gender and Education, 24(3), p. 303–310.Coy, M., & Horvath, A. H. (2011) Lads mags, young men’s attitudes towards women and acceptance of myths about sexual aggression. Feminism & Psychology, 21(1), pp. 144-150.Daniels, E. (2009) Sex objects, athletes, and sexy athletes: How media representations of women athletes can impact adolescent girls and college women. Journal of Adolescent Research, Volume 24, p. 399–422.Fredrickson, B., & Roberts, T. (2011) Sexual objectification of women advances to theory and research. Psychology of Women Quarterly, Volume 21, p. 6–38.Gill, R. (2008) Advertising Empowerment/Sexism: Figuring Female Sexual Agency. Contemporary Feminism & Psychology, Volume 18, p. 35.Hardin, M., Simpson, S., Whiteside, E., & Garris, K. (2007) The gender war in U.S. sport: Winners and losers in news coverage of Title IX. Mass Communication & Society, Volume 10, p. 211–233.Liebenberg, L., Nora D., & Michael, U. (2012) Analysing image-based data using grounded theory: the Negotiating Resilience Project. Visual Studies 27(1), pp. 59-74.Menard, A.D., & Kleinplatz, P.J. (2008) Twenty-one Moves Guaranteed to Make his Thighs go up in Flames: Depictions of “Great Sex” in Popular Magazines. Sexuality & Culture, 12(1), pp. 1-20.Ringrose, J., (2010) Sluts, whores, fat slags and Playboy bunnies: Teen girls’ negotiations of ‘sexy’ on social networking sites and at school. In: C. Jackson, C. Paechter and E. Renold, ed. Girls and education. Basingstoke: Open University Press, pp. 3-16.Ybarra, M., & Mitchell, K. (2008) How risky are social networking sites? A comparison of places online where youth sexual solicitation and harassment occurs. Pediatrics, Volume 121, p. 350–357.What is a case study?A case study is a descriptive, exploratory or explanatory critical analysis of a phenomenon, text, event, policy, institution etc. A case study is used in order:To find underlying principlesTo highlight distinctive characteristicsTo test out and apply theories and ideasThe case which you choose to examine is the subject of an analytical frame and you conduct it in order to illuminate and explain the topic you have chosen to addressMarking Criteria• Evidence of sustained critical engagement with the debates, concepts and tasks introduced in the module.• Evidence of the ability to identify a viable project and to see it through to completion.• Evidence of independent research.• Ability to produce clear, well structured, detailed and well-argued analysis.• Production of well-presented and well-referenced work to academic standards.• Evidence of independent thinking and originality of thought.

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