A Submission to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Task Force on Sex-role stereotyping

Year Published:  1983  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2754

Abstract:  The brief addresses the problem of sex-role stereotyping in the broadcast media. The University argues that in some instances advertising is offensive to women. Local support for this view comes from a study carried out by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission that reported on the views of nearly 500 Nova Scotian women who felt women are portrayed in TV commericals as "unintelligent, servile, incompetent, and lacking in identification."

In addition to the portrayal of women in advertising, the University is also concerned with the representation of women in the broadcast industry, particularly in management, and in "on-camera" and "on air" roles. The brief calls for more visibility for women broadcasters and reporters.

The authors agree with other researchers who suggest several strategies for redressing the problem of sex-role sterotyping in the media, including education, guidelines for industry, and legislation.

The submission concludes with these recommendations:

"Federal government or its regulatory agencies have a major role to play in dealing with the problem of sex role sterotyping. Their role should involve:

1. ensuring equality of opportunity in employment and equality of payment for men and women employed in all bodies for which the federal government is directly or indirectly responsible;
2, providing research and other funding to women's and other groups for public education, for programs aimed at persuading the advertising industry to regulate itself;
3. providing support for programs sponsored by interested groups, aimed at encouraging provincial ministers of education to develop courses within the public school system, which would develop children's media literacy, just as they are now taught discrimination in matters of language and literature.
4.funding should also be provided for the establishment of a media consumers' association, which would treat the offerings of the mass media as rpoucts to be evaluated, in much the same way as products are now examined by other consumer groups.
5.supporting research which will establish the dimensions of the problem and provide a yard-stick against which progrress can be evaluate.


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