Media Representations of Sexuality | Media | AQA A-Level Sociology
- A-Level, IB
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 12 Nov 2023
This key topic video provides A Level Sociology students with an essential summary of sociological views on media representations of sexuality. Key points are summarised and theories and studies introduced and evaluated.
- Heteronormative Lens: Traditional media representations of sexuality have historically been viewed through a heteronormative lens, emphasizing traditional ideas of heterosexuality as the norm. Male and female attraction is often depicted in fictional and non-fictional media.
- Evolution of Representation: Over time, there has been an increasing representation of LGBTQ communities in the media. Society's evolution has led to more diverse portrayals of sexuality, challenging the traditional norms.
- Objectification of Women: Females, historically subject to the "male gaze," are often objectified as sexual objects in the media, catering to male audiences. This objectification is linked to the symbolic annihilation of women's achievements, reducing them to objects of desire.
- Changing Approach to Sexual Health: Sexual health representation in media has evolved from moral panic over AIDS in the 1980s to a more prevalent and varied portrayal in different forms of media. Media, especially targeting young adults, is more representative of a wider spectrum of sexuality in contemporary society.
- Representation Challenges and Opportunities: Despite increased representation of alternative sexualities, challenges persist, such as crude stereotypes for gay and bisexual men. However, the digitalization of media has allowed for increased connectivity and positive impacts on the well-being of LGBTQ individuals, promoting positive representations of sexuality. The economic power of the LGBTQ community has also driven advertisers to normalize nonheterosexual relationships in the media.