Communication and Gender Roles

The paper assesses how gender affects user-generated content on social media.

The researchers conducted a literature analysis of the features of graphical images shared on Facebook by examining qualities connected to gender to highlight their points. To evaluate the degree to which gender stereotyping is evident in these Facebook images, significant samples of Facebook images were used. In this regard, the panel found out that traits that were present in male pictures submitted a image of dominance, active and independent people. On the other hand, images prominent for females represented independence and attractiveness. The article was looking to illustrate that centrality of gender embodiment is a critical debate that has gained grounds about the relationship between gender presentation in media, gender as performance and gendered bodies in virtual space. Figuratively, role theory is used to explain how people follow the not written culture and social rules and the norms on how to behave in different and predictable ways depending on their respective social identities and situations.


Jessica Rose is a graduate of Villanova University in 2011 with B.A. she is a communications and marketing professional in the greater Philadelphia area. Susan Mackey-Kallis has a Ph.D. from Penn State University year 1986. She is an associate professor in the communication department at Villanova University. Her long years of experience and intelligent as a teacher and having lived in the pre and post digital era makes her well equipped to understand social media image presentations. Len Shyles has a Ph.D. from Ohio State University year 1981 and is also a professor in the communication department at Villanova University. Kelly Barry is a B.A graduate from Villanova University year 2011. Kelly is also a marketing and communications professional in the greater New York area. Daniele Biagini is another B.A graduate for Villanova University year 2011. Just like Kelly and Jessica, Danielle is a marketing and communications professional in the greater San Diego area.


The reasons why the authors conducted research and wrote the article was to evaluate the impact that gender holds on the occurrence of traits such as active, dependent, independent, dominant, sentimental, sexy, submissive, attractive in Facebook profile photos that are self-selected. The article, therefore, looks to explore how gender is depicted on Facebook and evaluate whether this representation matches the societal perceptions of gender stereotyping.

Intended Audience of the Article

The article looks into a debate that is hovering in all sectors of populations including the general public, scholars, teachers, policy makers, practitioners and professional alike. Therefore, the intended audience for the article can be described as the general public with all the named categories inclusive. The reason is that although the analysis used can be seen to be statistical where some of the public at large might find difficulties understanding, the description of findings is in layman's language. As a result, anyone interested in understanding gender roles and representation in the media can use the article as a reference.

Author Bias

Although the authors' presentation of facts has several strengths such as consistency with past studies, adherence to reliability rules, having expert coders and coherent operationalization, there are some aspects of biases in their research rationale. For instance, the study lacks diversity in the sample as the sample population is coined from the authors' Facebook friends. Given their professionalism and state in life, it is apparent that their type in Facebook friends may be very similar hence the lack of diversity. Also, the eight traits used by the authors to make conclusions limits the potential of analysis. Facebook users pertain to more than eight characteristics and use of 8 to describe the characteristic of the whole population can mitigate biases.

Information Source

The authors used qualitative research method to analyze the profile photos placed in a slide show of a sample of 300 Facebook users who were analyzed based on the strength of the presence of the eight traits. The analysis ranged from not at all to very. The article was based on personal opinion as well the comments and likes evaluated in each profile photo present in the slide show. Reliability was assured as the panel of coder judges included experts from the fields of visual arts, media analysis, art history and photography. Similarly, the resources used are academic peer reviewed sources relating to gender stereotyping, gender representation on the internet, identity experiments in the web, and gender markers in computer-mediated communication among others.

Authors' Conclusions

The authors concluded that men are portrayed in more active work roles while women are depicted as more dependent on social roles. Also, people display images that are more independent while women display relatively, emotional and sentimental images. Further, men are portrayed as dominant while women are shown to be more submissive. However, both males and females display vain images that make them appear more physically attractive to appear sexy. The authors justify the conclusions satisfactory from the research through the extensive literature review and hypothesis.

Huffman, S., Rosengard, D. S., & Tuggle, C. A. (2004). How Campus Media Cover Sports: The Gender-Equity Issue, One Generation Later. Mass Communication and Society, 7(4), 475-489. DOI: 10.1207/s15327825mcs0704_6


In this article, Suzanne Huffman et al. introduce a critical sociological issue in campus sports. The number of male and female participants in various sports is noted to have been almost equal. Traditionally, sports such as athletics were viewed as being men's game exclusively. Over the years, the number of women participating in athletics has gone up, and the ratio of men to women is at 8:7 respectively. Therefore, it is important to recognize the effort that women put towards certain sports and empower them to achieve great feats in this field. Equal media coverage of male and female events will motivate women and help in the molding of the society's view of female athletics and the general perceptions that the society has about women. The sports media plays a critical role in the shaping, reflection, and creation of right attitudes towards the sports that women participate in. College journalists have been exposed to a society that believes in generating revenues from male sports. Campus and college journalists should consider expanding the coverage boundaries so as to reinvigorate sports coverage and bring stories that people will not be able to get from anywhere. College journalists should also balance their coverage by Title IX.


Dr. Suzanne Huffman is an associate professor of journalism at the School of Journalism. She has a Ph. D. in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri- Columbia. She did her M.A. from the University of Iowa after completing her B.A. from Texas Christian University. Her wealth of experience in broadcast journalism informs every step of the research in this article. Dr. Dana Rosengard holds a Ph.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Communication. He also has a vast practice experience in broadcast journalism. The background of their research is a society that never recognized men and women as being equal. Dr. Suzanne Huffman has the authority to compile this article from her vast knowledge in the field of society and journalism.


The authors wrote this article to highlight the discriminations that are prevalent in the way media covers various sports events. Over the years, male and female events have not been addressed in a balanced way. People are socialized to give men more chances to participate in sports such as athletics. The authors intend to portray the issue of gender discrimination in the 21st-century societies. The purpose is to lobby communities and media houses to give men and women equal opportunities.

Intended Audience of the Article

This article is for everyone who wants to understand the changes and developments that have been experienced in the sport of athletics. This article targets all media houses and media groups and the manner in which they cover various sports. The article highlights instances where the media covers events where both men and women participate but give more airtime to men participants. The article is meant to bring out this discrimination and encourage media houses to balance their coverages. The article is also intended for scholars and students who are doing research on sports coverage, communication and the general media coverage of sports events in colleges and universities.

Author's Bias

The authors of this article have a conspicuous bias throughout the article. In modern-day societies, there are very many sports where both men and women participate, but they are not given equal coverage. Suzanne Huffman et al. seem to base their research on athletics alone. Sports gender balance and equity are required in such sports as rugby, football, wrestling, and motor racing which were traditionally men events. The research done in this article should have expanded their scope and include other sports.

Information Source

In the compilation and writing of material for this article, the authors relied heavily on secondary sources of information. The article has many citations of scholarly works on which the authors based their arguments and conclusions. The citations of scholarly works make this article an academic piece of information for somebody in the field of communication and athletics. To some extent, the article is based on personal opinions and experiences. The article is not reliable as it covers only one sport and draws general conclusions. The authors employ an empirical approach in their research, and thus the findings from this article are reflective of the sport of athletics.

Authors Conclusion

The authors conclude by recognizing the effectiveness of Title IX in the pursuit of gender equity and balanced coverage by the media. School administrators including society's leaders have the task of ensuring that gender-based discrimination is not experienced, especially in sports participation. The authors also acknowledge the fact that it is the society that has made people acquire certain attitudes and perspectives. The manner in which one is brought up socializes them to behave as such. This is the case in college journalists who think that men's sports deserve more coverage than female sports. It is concluded that this view can be changed for a harmonious society going forward.

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