October 5, 2008

Gender Socialization in the Media from Childhood to Adulthood


Geena Davis has been a long-standing advocate for the analysis of media images and gender socialization.  She founded the See Jane Project in 2004 and the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media (GDIGM).

In 2005, Geena Davis and her institute partnered with the esteemed media analyst, Dr. Stacy Smith at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Prompted by Davis’ informal observations regarding the portrayals of gender in media directed at children, GDIGM and the research team organized under the direction of Dr. Smith watched over 5oo hours of children’s programming that summer.

Research showed that in 101 top-grossing G-rated movies released between 1990 and 2005, three out of four characters were male. Girls accounted for only 17 percent of the film’s narrators and 17 percent of the characters in crowd scenes. Only seven of the 101 movies were nearly gender-balanced, with a ratio of less than 1.5 males per 1 female character. “Although many people would argue that things seem to be getting better, our data shows that this is not the case,” says the principal investigator, Stacy L. Smith, an associate professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, where the research was carried out.

What was revealed was not only the disparity of images between male and female characters but the typical gender socialization that continues throughout adulthood.  As media analyst George Gerbner pointed out many years ago, it is not the introduction of one image or message that causes a change in one’s attitude of one’s self or the worl they inhabit that is worth noting.  It is the repetitive and continuous stream of images that consistently reinforce the same values and norms from our earliest years throughout the life course.  This concept is know as cultivation.  Cultivation refers to the stability of these prolific messages versus the change-oriented model.

When one considers the process of cultivation in a media saturated culture, it is the seemingly benign, obvious messages that we don’t consciously take note of that constructs our sense of reality.  In turn, this framework informs and shapes our expectations of who we and others should be and we consider these attitudes and behaviors as normative and natural.

Considering the work of Stacy Smith, Jackson Katz, Byron Hurt, Sut Jhally, Jean Kilbourne and many others that have actively studied gender and the media, it is not surprising that media directed at children hardly differs from media directed at adult men and women.  Cartoons aimed at girls and boys carry the same messages/plots/themes/characters that “chick flicks” and “dick flicks” reinforce in adulthood.

Girls/women are encouraged to focus on beauty and relationships with men,  After all, you must be beautiful to get a guy.  Boys/men are encouraged to be tough, adventurous and independent.  Considering the prolific and ubiquitous nature of the contemporary media, it is no surprise that young girls strive to be beautiful through more and more extreme measures.  They are repeatedly told early on that girls/women must be beautiful in order to be validated in order to be considered worthy of a relationship.  Boys/men are told repeatedly that real boys/men are tough and independent or they are considered weak and effeminate.

Essentialism, the notion that gendered behavior is inherent and “natural,” is not surprising considering a climate that cultivates attitudes, behaviors and expectations of girls/women and boys/men within a structured environment that provides a steady stream of images that constantly reinforce themselves.  The images become unremarkable or un-noteworthy.

In this mediated cultural climate, negative sanctions in the form of derogatory names and physical punishment is also unsurprising.  If gendered characteristics and their expected behaviors are sen as inevitable and natural, punishment for one’s transgression is seen as inevitable.  And, that’s where the danger resides.



229 Comments »

  1. [...] than 50 years, Barbie has remained an emblem of idealized femininity and a key element of gender socialization. Barbie fan Danielle Scott, 16, said: Playing with the hair, the brushes, switching outfits. It [...]

    Pingback by Doll Parts: The “Barbie Executioner” Strikes Back : Ms Magazine Blog — July 29, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  2. I find it so odd that I’ve never realized or noticed the extent to which Disney movies revolve around sexism, strength, and dominance. I never thought to question these movies as they were masked by different lessons of life for young children, and ironically do the opposite. I always believed there could never be anything negative shown in a Disney movie, but I thought wrong. The way sexism is so casually addressed in these films seems so normal that you would never even think twice about it. As young kids, we’ve been socialized to this type of gender associations and it’s time we change our childrens’ movies around.

    Comment by Sharon — October 3, 2010 @ 3:10 am

  3. This post brings to light an accurate phenomenon wherein children are from a young age predisposed to view gender roles in one specific way. This is not only harmful to themselves, but it no doubt affects the way they will interact with other people and the way they see themselves in society. Children are so impressionable and Disney, as a major force in childhood education and influence, should be more wary of the potentially negative affects that their media has on children, and by extension, society as a whole.

    Comment by Ben Einstein — October 3, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  4. This articles just confirms how there is still such a big seperation between boy & girls and women & men. It is also extremely sad to see how early this all starts with the media telling girls that they must beautiful to get a boy and that is their goal in life. This creates a really messed up situation becuase it instills these horribly ideas in our heads that we should all be a certain way, and even worse this leads to eating disorders in girls at a very young age for they strive to fulfill this image of beauty. Our kids aren’t even safe from these message and that is sad and unmfortunate.

    Comment by Debora Rabieian — October 4, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  5. unfortunetly its sad to see this image being protrayed to young boys an girls, but there is nothing we can do except not show it to our own childern, but even then in schools they are exposed to this by the other students.

    Comment by Delyla M. — October 4, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  6. It’s nice to see another side of gender socialization’s influence on boys aside from it’s affect among girls. Disney is a popular brand that is widely recognized by people globally around the world. Children are visually stimulated at a young age and they’re the easiest demographic to manipulate and disney knows that. The images sought off from disney are divided between male and female. Unfortunately, the image of women sought after by disney often times depict a character of vulnerability, beauty, and sympathy. Meanwhile, the character for a male bestows courage, pride, and power.

    Only until years later did Disney decide to make a few changes in it’s gender message by creating characters like Mulan and the Hunch-Back of Notre Dame to show that women and pull off masculinity and that men don’t have to be handsome and physically superior to get the girl. However, in the end, Mulan goes back to being a regular girl and withdraws from the army, and the hutch-back ends up being alone rather than getting the girl.

    Nonetheless, I feel like Disney wouldn’t have achieved its success to this day if it weren’t for the messages that it portrayed of men and women. If the concept of homo-sexualism was to be introduced in its animation back then I don’t think it would have received positive attention or parent approval. For this reason, the idea of homophobia and teenage insecurity is spurred from the media. We see clearly the grave influence media has in shaping the way children grow up to interact with each other and other times we also see how media encourages children to shun individuals that are different from the values depicted on screen into isolation.

    Comment by Joanne S. — October 4, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

  7. Not only disney, but many other movies portray women as subordinate characters that the man or men in the movie are looking to win the heart of. Disney movies tend to create a standard which to this day many boys continue to believe and follow as opposed to the many different ways one can live his life and still be considered “masculine”. It is unfortunate that these movies not only promote insecurities to men who aren’t ripped and handsome, but also women who aren’t beautiful and delicate. The way each gender is portrayed should change in order to promote open-mindedness within the society.

    Comment by Justin D — October 4, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  8. It is horrible to see that from such a young age, little girls and boys are given subliminal messages in their favorite childhood movies about how they should act and who they should be. Most parents look at disney as good wholesome movies and television shows and push their children to watch these movies,but i wonder that if they knew the messages sent by Disney if they would still want their boy or girl to watch these shows. this article shows how the media is trying to instill in us certain gender roles in order to sell a product or idea.

    Comment by Sadaf Abrishami — October 4, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

  9. This is unfortunately true and continues to this day. I learned more about this in Socio. 34 and watched documentaries which pointed out all the gender and racial biases found in Disney productions. I also relate this to the game of house that is commonly played by toddlers and kindergartners which gender roles are set and reinforced at such a young age. This is all due to the cultivation found in the media and the post has great points.

    Comment by Dalal C. — October 4, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  10. I cannot believe the messages that are being sent through Disney films. Further, I cannot believe that it has taken me 18 years to realize the subliminal messages being sent across and the unconscious attributes I gave both genders as a result. It is interesting to see how media has affected our perception of who we are and how we are supposed to be, without us even realizing it. Until re-watching these scenes from my favorite Disney films, I was completely clueless as to how women and men are depicted. Thank you for writing such an enlightening article.

    Comment by Jennifer Saeedian — March 22, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  11. Although I did know about the whole Disney Princess phenomenon, i didn’t realize the extent to which it reached boys. i always viewed the dashing princes as the norm but now i realize that definitely isnt the case.

    Comment by Shawn S — June 1, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  12. The disturbing thing is that I watched all these movies but never remembered any sexism in the movies. It just seemed natural to me at the time. Many of the ideas I have now have probably been instilled in me by Disney Movies from a young age.

    Comment by Joshua Beroukhim — October 5, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  13. It’s true. There are favorite Disney films of mine that I’ve watched countless times. There are songs I can still sing the lyrics to. Also, there are messages conveyed in these films that have still impacted me to this day. They’ve idealized these standards of perfection (beauty, talent, etc) that I thought I’ve always wanted to live up to. Except those “perfect” standards came at the cost of living in the shadow of a man. Looking at Disney Movies from a newly-feminist perspective leaves me in disgust. Knowing that it is reinforced everyday through chick-flicks and society leaves me in disgust. There is so much damage to repair.

    “If gendered characteristics and their expected behaviors are sen as inevitable and natural, punishment for one’s transgression is seen as inevitable. And, that’s where the danger resides.” <——————-BRILLIANT. Too many of us have become numb to this sort of thing.

    Comment by Biana B — October 9, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  14. Such an eye-opening article. The message being sent to girls and boys at a young age by such movies is not subtle. They are expected to act a certain way and look a certain way. These movies define society and gender roles. Women must be beautiful and vulnerable and med must be built and violent. These are impressionable children watching Disney movies and forming definitions and perceptions of society.

    Comment by Tiffany Majdipour — October 9, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  15. This is so true! At an early age we are told what and how we should be, and are pretty much not given any other options. As a female, looking back at what my favorite Disney cartoons were as a child, I would definitely say that it has “shaped” me and determined my views on things. I never even realized that the same thing is done on boys. Something obviously has to be done. There has to be a change so that children can feel that they have an option as to who and how they want to be when they are adults. I think that some guidelines are needed, however in a reasonable way and amount.

    Comment by Tandis Shams Fard — October 10, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  16. I so agree with this article and how children and adults are subliminally taught to fit into their designated gender roles. It’s quite interesting to be able to look back on the movies of my childhood and dissect their meanings through a gendered lens. The theme of a damsel in distress and a chivalrous male who rescues her, whereby they live happily ever after is a classic. From an early age, girls are taught to wait around and beautify themselves, while boys are encouraged to explore the world and pursue heroic feats. What especially spoke to me in this article is how underlying gendered themes are encouraged in adulthood. Thus, the childhood favorites instill in us gender designated roles that are continually reinforced. We are constantly bombarded and jaded by the same ideas, thereby making it quite difficult to even criticize and protest the gender specific messages delivered to children.

    Comment by Nilu V. — October 11, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  17. I thought that this article was so insightful. As a young adult, I realize that “chick flicks” and “dick flicks” do have a big role in shaping the way males and females think of their identities in gender roles. In these movies (and in other types of media) as adults we are all expected to act, look, think, and live ways that are supposed to be so “inherent” to us in the first place anyway, when really these ideas are just gendered themes that pop culture brainwashes us with. But being a Disney fan myself, I had never thought up till now that there are so many “hidden” ways that kids from a young age experience gender socialization in our culture. When I look at these movies and books now I feel completely appalled about what messages they carry. It’s disgusting!

    Comment by Jennifer S — October 12, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

  18. I have never realized the cartoons that we watched several times when we were child, were dictating us how to be a perfect male or female! It seems that everything, like toys, Disney movies, and children cloths promote masculinity in males and femininity in females. I think now is the time that we really should change our children’s environment.

    Comment by Negar Azadbadi — October 18, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  19. Having grown up with Disney movies as a child, I am definitely able to see the sexism within disney movies. There is not one disney movie that features a female character that does not focus on beautification, or “getting the prince.” The primary example of this is Snow White, who spends her days singing about when her prince will come, or Sleeping Beauty who can only be saved by her true love (a white males) kiss. Not only do these Disney movies further gender stereotypes, they also further racism. Of the Disney classics there has yet to be an actual ethnic princess or prince, and there has yet to be a female character of power. Unfortunately by targeting young children disney movies have a lot of power when it comes to gender socialization.

    Comment by Chloe Shenassa (women studies 10 scholars) — December 6, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  20. [...] than 50 years, Barbie has remained an emblem of idealized femininity and a key element of gender socialization. Barbie fan Danielle Scott, 16, said: Playing with the hair, the brushes, switching outfits. It [...]

    Pingback by Doll Parts: The “Barbie Executioner” Strikes Back | Adios Barbie — December 13, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  21. I never really thought into how much of this is present in the Disney films that I grew up on, but in my Women in Film class I studied the aspect of this in non-animated movies from various time periods. The womyn is always desperate for a man, fighting for his affection, sad at some/various points because of her lack of companionship because, of course, that’s the only thing that’ll make her feel complete, and somehow always ends up punished in the end, and the male character–privileged. This shows through in children’s movies as well and it’s sad that it starts at such an early age. If only it could be stopped, maybe these children would stand a fighting chance and we could potentially see changes in children’s and young adult’s expressions of self worth and body image.

    Comment by Breanna K — January 10, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  22. Gender stereotypes are not only harmful to girls, but boys as well. When young boys are exposed to dominance, violence, and physical strength in cartoon movies, these are the only characteristics they can associate with masculinity. When boys, and men, do not display these characteristics, they are insulted with stereotypical feminine qualities like “weak”, “emotional”, and “insecure”. Some boys are even called a girl if they don’t act strong or dominate. This says a lot about how society thinks about young girls and women. That women are weak, emotional, and insecure, and for some bizarre reason, this is bad. Cartoon movies need to start associating kindness and compassion to masculinity. This way, maybe the cycle of gender expectations will end.

    Comment by Skye G. — January 11, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  23. WOW! Now that this violence and dominance is pointed out, it’s so obvious. No matter where you turn in today’s society male dominance is everywhere. And kids Disney movies would have been the last place to expect. For some reason this image of male dominance has been ingrained in our little brains since we were babies. Now what does this mean? Should we not show them to our own kids as they grow up? I knew of all the sexual subliminal messages that were placed in these same movies but now this. It’s a sad feeling you get thinking that there may be no hope. That this violence that brings rape, abuse and death may never end. All of this makes me think of the sick people who took part in creating these movies, and knowing what exactly they were implanting in the future generations.

    Comment by Sarah R. — January 11, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  24. I like to share a personal experience with you all. It’s a very good point that the media is affecting us daily and building the society’s norm. I like to talk about action in movies. But people today like to see action and excitement and imaginary movies. They dislike passive and dislike old and caring movies. Why is that? Maybe it’s because they were raised as a child to like the action cartons. I once saw an old woman of age 67 watching Lion King. And she was impressed by the carton movie. I asked her if she finds it interesting and what are her thoughts about it. She said you know I didn’t have these when I was a child. I never got to see the action in movies, so now I find it to be enough exciting for me. Right then I noticed that when I was watching the lion king the week before, to regenerate the good old memories I have with the movie, I found the movie boring and wanted more action.
    That clearly showed me that we raise the action tolerance with every single movie that comes out. I remember couples of years ago, movies were less action, but now every single movie that comes out has got some kind of murder, war, fight or some sort of physical conflict. Forget about all other messages that one movie contains. What can we do? In my opinion we should slowly take everything back. I think it will take about 10 years to fully go back to a normal carton movie, but I think it’s needed. We should lessen the action in every movie that is coming out.

    Comment by Matan P. — January 13, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  25. I am very surprised that I didn’t notice the stereotypes portrayed against men and women in Disney movies, probably due to the fact as a child I loved all the disney classics, and as an adult I still watch them. But to really think about it, all the Disney movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Hercules, The Lion King, all associate what it means to be a dominant man with brute, physical strength. It directly correlates to how male figures are seen in today’s society, for example you never see someone modeling for Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch who either isn’t “ripped” or with six pack abs. Having a so called “beer belly” causes men to feel embarrassed because the norm for society is to have that perfectly chiseled body. And for young kids to watch these movies, it’s being embedded into their heads as when you grow up, this is how you should look and act, which in my opinion is totally wrong.

    Comment by Eleazar Capuz — January 16, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  26. It makes complete sense to why men in today’s society act as the dominant adult within a relationship or family. It began as a child where boys experienced what it was like to be in control of women. Most Disney shows convey the strength and inner ability of power men have over women. The action the different types of movies bring to the media are exciting yet encouraging to men to act of that kind of brutality towards women. Women are supposed to act like women and men are supposed to act like men. But what does that really consist of? Well it is a very stereotypical thought to consider. After watching this short video, I have come to the realization that somehow people are the way they are from what they learn from such an early age. The gender socialization that comes to their heads are embedded forever on. If there was change in the way directions/producers made their cartoons it could make a huge difference in the way males and females act towards each other.

    Comment by Alexandria S — January 17, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  27. It makes complete sense to why men in today’s society act as the dominant adult within a relationship or family. It began as a child where boys experienced what it was like to be in control of women. Most Disney shows convey the strength and inner ability of power men have over women. The action the different types of movies bring to the media are exciting yet encouraging to men to act of that kind of brutality towards women. Women are supposed to act like women and men are supposed to act like men. But what does that really consist of? Well it is a very stereotypical thought to consider. After watching this short video, I have come to the realization that somehow people are the way they are from what they learn from such an early age. The gender socialization that comes to their heads are embedded forever on. If there was change in the way directions/producers made their cartoons it could make a huge difference in the way males and females act towards each other.

    Comment by Alexandria S — January 18, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  28. i never noticed the stereotypes portraying men and women in disney movies until i just watched this clip. after watching this i realize that people come out to be what they are due to what they learn from their childhood. this image can stick to them forever. prodders should change the way they create their characters.

    Comment by Jonteen R — January 18, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  29. I had never put much thought in to disney fairy tales. I was so surprised to see that at a young age we are being taught the idea of patriarchy, as well as the characteristics of a male and female should be. The cartoons that we see when we are little have such an incredable impact on our perception when we grow up on the proper way to act. we should stop brain washing our kids with fairy tales and cartoon shows.

    Comment by Mirian M — January 19, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  30. This is a very insightful article that reminds me of the negative ways in which our culture continues to affect our views of girls and boys who later grow up to be the women and men of the future. It is sad and appalling for me to read that the significant majority of characters in children movies are boys and men, and when girls are actually portrayed they are often shown as vain and weak. This implication is often one of the first interpretations young children are given while watching these movies, leading them to believe that this is the norm in our culture and society and “cultivating” this expectation into their future encounters. Unfortunately, these “rated-G” movies are negatively impacting the views that young girls have towards themselves which can be devastating to their future relationships and belief of their self-worth. After reading this article, I noticed that in the various children movies I used to watch when I was little, the main female character is in fact primarily focused on her beauty and male attention, and it saddens me to think that this is the perspective being presented to girls and boys from a very young age.

    Comment by Camille Yona — January 22, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  31. I feel this is sickening to the young who can’t really comprehend the subliminal messages that the media feeds them. The media starts molding the children at a very early age. With all the content behind disney movies i believe their ratings should be higher than a G rating. There is no hope for children to grow up with a good sense of values if the media keeps displaying these kind of subliminal images.

    Comment by Payne T — January 23, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  32. I like painting my nails. Why? Because my mom taught me too. I also like chiseled abs. Why? Probably because Disney taught me to!

    It’s hard to concede the choices I make in life to the “training” and constant bombarding of messages passed along throughout my childhood but I think it’s hard to deny that’s a great part of who I am. I consider myself lucky to say that while I have been influenced to an extent I also have a certain critical consciousness that allows me to be aware of, and question, the choices I make in life. Most people aren’t so lucky. They are the victims of society at all times and have nobody to help them look into their decisions, their feelings, and their perpetuation of mainstream values.

    I think it’s time Disney and other children’s companies start marketing strong, independent females who don’t fall into the traps of current characters. We don’t need to sexify our children’s role models or have them constantly searching for men; girls don’t need to stand down or remain submissive and males can show sensitivity without losing credibility. We are in an age where there’s no excuse for ignorant material to be so common and unacknowledged in their faults by their creators. Well-rounded, confident and positive characters ought to be the role models of the future and it would do just fine to start creating them now.

    Comment by Antonia C. — January 30, 2012 @ 10:29 am

  33. Disney is one of many examples of how typical gender socialization is reinforced in the media. It’s unsettling when knowing that these movies are targeted toward children. A lot of the times, they have a harder time differentiating from what is real and not real. These stable set of familiar and similar images of gender is continued throughout adulthood. In effect, it frameworks our reality and reinforces how normal it is when it’s really not that natural at all.

    Comment by Jessica K — January 30, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  34. I am a Disney fanatic. I play Disney trivia games for fun, and have always loved Disney movies. I have found a lot of my general knowledge came from the movies, yet it is crazy how 10 years have gone by since my peak of Disney movies and I have seen the movies in a different light. I never really thought much of the gender roles, or messages that are sent to young children. But these movies have very distinct roles and ideas they send out to children from a very young age. It teaches women to be beautiful, and have a prince save them. And teaches them that their husband much be rich, handsome, and charming. Far from reality. I still love Disney movies, yet I now see the messages a little more clear

    Comment by Yasmin M — January 31, 2012 @ 12:19 am

  35. Magazines, articles, ads, commercials, movies etc demean women in many ways. In ads, women are frequently displayed as sex symbols. We see huge billboards of, for instance, a Dolce & Gabbana commercial and usually the woman in the ad is gorgeous and sexy. It is very rare to see ads with women doing something creative, it is always sexual. Magazines such as people magazine, cosmopolitan and any teen magazines are always based on the same things; “how to please your man”, “how to attract the right man in your life”, “How to lose 20 LBS in 2 weeks”, “How to get nicer and fuller eyelashes”, “How to get longer and fuller hair” it is constantly about aiming for perfection and focusing on women’s looks whereas men’s magazine are about: “how to become successful”, “How to make money”, “How to find the perfect job” etc. Why are men encouraged to succeed whereas women should not even think about their career they should just focus on how to find themselves a rich, handsome man as if us women can’t do anything for ourselves. Those are the messages that we are constantly surrounded by and exposed to. Even in Disney movies, the man is always the hero and he is strong whereas the woman is weak and dependent on the man to come and save her. It is hideous what I notice when I look more deeply into it; nothing has really changed. Society is still demeaning to women but it is not as palpable as it was 30 years ago, some things have changed but women are still just encouraged to look beautiful and find the right men. We never get to hear anything else. Even in movies such as “Mean Girls” we see the girl Cady Heron dumbing herself down to get the guy she wants, she starts failing classes and only cares about her looks and getting the guy she wants. We don’t notice but Media does downgrade women a whole lot.

    Comment by Simone — February 1, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  36. As I grew up my ideas for gender socialization first came from my parents/adults, then siblings/friends, and then was heavily reinforced by any movie, cartoons, and TV series such as Spin & Marty, Rawhide, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, The Cisco Kid, Robin Hood, etc. Not only did the main characters, (all males), in every one of there series, movies, and cartoons “save the day,” they were also the hero’s, (even Robin Hood), and always rescued the beautiful maiden’s. The bad guys were defined by wearing black hats, while the hero’s were always worn white hats, reinforcing the notion that black is evil, white is godly. Guess I should consider myself lucky that Barbie did not exist when I was little. But I did have a baby doll that cried, drank from a baby bottle, and peed its’ diapers. I was being groomed for child-care, while my brother was playing with chemistry sets and Lincoln logs to become a scientist or an engineer.

    Additionally, I believe there is another influence that was, and is, generated which has perhaps been overlooked here – bullying, that was depicted in this posts’ video! This learned behavior did not just recently start happening. It’s only recently that it has begun to be addressed. Multimedia have been incorporating these negative actions into our main stream for a long time. Just watch one of James Cagney’s old movies. Parents have been passing this behavior along to their children for years. There are some parents who encourage their kids to engage in this type of behavior, while other parents are baffled as to where their children learned to bully. It’s this unchecked cultivation that seems to go unnoticed until it is ingrained into our unconsciousness. It is so pervasive and insidiously creeps into our everyday lives. By the time someone finally takes a step back to say “hey, wait a minute,” pulling all the propagandized materials together, the damage is done and it’s extremely difficult to reverse. We need so many more posts like this one, and the posts need to be every bit as mainstream as the multimedia in order to reverse the messages they have instilled. Fight fire with fire!

    Comment by Suzy D — February 4, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  37. I really liked Disney animations when I was young. These animations are based on fairy tales like princess and prince. Therefore, most children dream of fairy tales, so did I. But it’s different than in reality. So these things make gender socialization in our society.

    Comment by Youjung An — February 4, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

  38. Disney, the owner of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” definitely has a lot invested in our patriarchal society. It can be argued that the proliferation of Disney films in the 90s, and the messages about Essentialism and society they convey, is reactionary to the efforts on part of the Feminist movement toward social equality and the ending of sexism. Disney is obviously a major contributor to the hyper-masculine and androcentric society we live in today, considering the gap between gender expectations is the largest that its ever been, and this very condition is found in the exaggerations of gender stereotypes displayed in Disney films.

    I just wonder how Disney is supposed to and expects to benefit in the long run from this major cultural investment.

    Comment by Taja Eddahbi — February 6, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  39. I found the video very interesting and informative. I have viewed Mickey Mouse Monopoly which discusses the images of the submissive female looking for Prince Charming, even if it means converting an abusive Beast, as in Beauty and the Beast, but this is the first time my attention was drawn to the messages regarding masculinity in these films. It is true, as women are told by films such as Beauty and the Beast that if they truly love the Beast he will become docile, males are also told that they can be a Beast and it is the woman’s job to “tame” them. In an era of prevalent domestic abuse, this is a message we cannot afford our children to absorb.

    As this blog points out, these images in Disney films are especially powerful because very young children prefer to watch their favorite videos over and over in endless loops, therefore reinforcing the power of these images to cultivate these stereotypes. Because most parents see Disney as “clean, child-oriented entertainment,” they often unquestioningly use Disney videos as babysitters so that children are exposed to these images with no adult filter. However, many parents, if they watched these videos critically, would realize that these films are imparting messages that they would not accept in other contexts and would stop financially supporting these Disney films and force Disney to create more balanced images.

    Comment by SandraR — February 6, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  40. I found the video very interesting and informative. I have viewed Mickey Mouse Monopoly which discusses the images of the submissive female looking for Prince Charming, even if it means converting an abusive Beast, as in Beauty and the Beast, but this is the first time my attention was drawn to the messages regarding masculinity in these films. It is true, as women are told by films such as Beauty and the Beast that if they truly love the Beast he will become docile, males are also told that they can be a Beast and it is the woman’s job to “tame” them. In an era of prevalent domestic abuse, this is a message we cannot afford our children to absorb.

    As this blog points out, these images in Disney films are especially powerful because very young children prefer to watch their favorite videos over and over in endless loops, therefore reinforcing the power of these images to cultivate these stereotypes.  Because most parents see Disney as “clean, child-oriented entertainment,” they often unquestioningly use Disney videos as babysitters so that children are exposed to these images with no adult filter.  However, many parents, if they watched these videos critically, would realize that these films are imparting messages that they would not accept in other contexts and would stop financially supporting these Disney films and force Disney to create more balanced images.

    Comment by SandraR — February 6, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  41. I think it is interesting that I came across this article for the reason being that for Christmas I received the movie Beauty and the Beast. The last time I had seen this movie was probably when I was around 10 years old, so I was very excited to see it again. I even hosted a girl night and invited my friends over to see the movie. Once, the movie started I began to realize that the movie had several sexist comments, in addition, it included gender roles. Once the movie ended, we started to discuss the movie because we did not remember it being so sexist. One of the questions that we kept asking our self was if when we were little we caught all those sexist comments? And we can not remember and we agreed even if we caught them, did we really understand what they meant? We all agreed that we did not pay too much attention to them. As a result, we started wondering about the other princess movies that we grew up watching such as, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, and Cinderella. Most of the movies if not all, have gender roles and include sexist comments. Then, our next question was why did our parents let us watch them, if the movies were teaching little girls that all they need is beauty to find “love”? My parents did not understand the language, so they did not know better. However, my friend said, that her mother knew that her little girl was more focused on other parts of the movie rather than thinking this is sexist. It is amazing to realize all the things around us that is telling us and showing the different gender roles.

    Comment by Analila — February 12, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  42. After watching this video on Gender Socialization in the Media from Childhood to Adulthood, it made wonder how many times did I sing Disney movies without realizing what the lyrics meant. I feel that even before we attend pre-school, the media is already preparing us with such films to learn that the male is stronger than the women. In many Disney movies, like Beauty and the beast, the beast is big, strong, and somewhat mean. Belle, which is seen as a beauty is nice, pretty, and delicate. This is a perfect example to show that men are viewed as big and strong and women as pretty and nice. Disney has been very succesfull in their films, toys, and especially Disneyland. I feel that at Disneyland, the kids have control over the parents. The kids just want to be happy and have fun. If the parents try and stand in their way, they will reference a Disney movie or some type act.

    Comment by Ana B — February 13, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  43. After I watched the video that showed how Disney movies display gender norms, it made me think about how I have seen all of those Disney movies and how I really did love those movies and the way the princesses and heroes looked. I wanted so badly to look just like the Disney princess’s. I thought that as I got older that I too would have big eyes, a long lean torso, and, soft voluptuous hair that men wouldn’t be able to resist. Those movies taught me that it was “natural” for women to aspire to look like those images. Movies and shows that are targeted for children enforce gender norms, and you are taught that if you do not meet those standards then you will be an outcaste and sad. Ever since I was little I wanted to be beautiful and to be able to mesmerize men. I thought that if I could be beautiful just like those images in the movies, then I would be successful at getting a tall, handsome, strong and fearless man. When I would see older men who did not fit the mold of these “heroes” on Disney, I would think of them as “wimps” and if a man did look just like the images on TV then he was a “real man”. It is so sad what children are taught from the start. These movies and songs are what children really look up to and we are forcing them to feel a certain way about themselves and about what they should want to be like. As a child you never realize what you are being fed, you just listen and absorb it all and take it as if it is true and real. I hope that by the time I choose to have children, they will be able to have different types of Disney “heroes” to aspire to. One’s that show a true gender balance for the sake of their health and self-esteem.

    Comment by Destiny O — February 21, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  44. We can argue the fact that the media has an effect on all of us, in a sense forming the “ideal” man and woman. We can essentially blame stereotypes on media. But I feel it is important to stop and recognize that these stereotypes were implemented ages ago. There was a time when it was necessary for a man to be strong and capable of being “the man” with the typical ideals. When someone first started creating art (ie. writing and painting) they focused on every day life, and at the time, they wrote what was common. Unfortunately these ideas have stayed in our media even though our culture has changed. Women have broken free of the mousey trap and men are able to adopt more sensitive ways. So ultimately, while media really does affect us, how do we change something so engrained in society, from our very roots?

    Comment by Mohit Sharma — February 22, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  45. I never realized just how bad the Disney movies I grew up watching were. It’s not something you think about as a young child and don’t realize what the images are really representing. Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie growing up and there is so much sexism going on it makes me wonder what type of affect that may have on me as an adult. I never really looked at how these movies would make boys feel either. The way masculinity in Beauty and the Beast is portrayed is quite sad.

    Comment by Kristin F — February 23, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  46. When I think about Disney, children’s movies or cartoons I never think of it as it having this type of effect on children. Most of us and especially children when we think about movies we think the only purpose behind it is entertainment. Watching the short clip on the Disney movies it made me realize how much more there is behind the characters in these movies. I believe that the stereotypical roles of these characters do not stand out the audiences because this is what we are used to seeing on an everyday basis and it is what society is like. As a child watching these movies they didn’t really mean anything to me. I was not able to draw out the roles of these characters, now that I watch these movies and cartoons it’s very obvious to me how much these gender roles influence the audience without them even realizing it. The short clips really points out and makes people aware how these movies are influencing kids at very young ages and sending out these messages to both boys and girls that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

    Comment by Angelica E. — February 23, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  47. When I was a little girl I always envision myself like one of the Disney princesses even if they did not look like me. I thought that one day I will marry my prince charming like them and live happy ever after. Bu after growing up I realize that things are different than that dream. I think all this images get engraved in children’s head and they believe that its normal to be that way, but the executives realize that society in forces gender roles in society so they must follow the patterns in order to sell.

    Comment by Yuliana R — February 23, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  48. One of the most intriguing and dangerous aspects of socialization is not only how subtle it is, but also that it is everywhere. Even in children’s movies (Disney movies in this case) there is no escaping socialization. Our kids are being taught at such a young age these values of our society, gender roles in particular. Part of the problem is how innocent children’s movies appear to be. At first glance, I would never look deep enough into a children’s movie to see the socialization and gender roles that are being taught. It’s really sad that our children cannot escape the influence of the media even at such young ages.

    It’s no wonder our children grow up already aware of such things as gender roles. Our children cannot simply be who they want to be. Instead they learn at such a young age that girls must be beautiful in order to receive attention and that boys must be tough and strong in order to avoid ridicule. I agree that the problem is that these ideals are viewed as inherently normal, that all girls must be pretty and that all boys must be tough, when actually they are not inherently true to everyone. They are socially perpetuated ideas that for one reason or another continue to strive in our patriarchal society.

    Comment by Logan S. — February 24, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  49. It is amazing that after all these years you don’t really notice until someone points it out to you, then it all seems so clear. Gender differences have always portrayed the male to be the hero, the stronger, and the protagonist. While the female portrays the beautiful, or not, weak and usually the one that needs to be saved. My daughter has most of the Disney movies and she always wants to be the beautiful princess. It is great that we now have advocates to monitor these G-rated movies. But it is apparent that for many centuries in our society the man has always been the breadwinner and provider, that is, according to media. I would love to see a Disney movie portray the American family now at days, with the father a stay at home dad while the mother has a great paying career. I know my daughter would appreciate it.

    Comment by Salina G — February 26, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  50. I had never really thought about analyzing the messages presented by Disney films. When I was growing up, I had a huge collection of Disney films and watched the Disney Princesses films so many times that I lost count. I remember thinking that I would grow up to be a princess with a prince charming. Now I realize that several of my thoughts on what a “real man” should be like came from having watched these films. These films portray the “real man” as strong, daring, aggressive, powerful, rigid, and tall. Meanwhile, the men in these films who are usually the powerless ones are shown as weak, short in height, and scared to place their lives at risk. These messages eventually become so internalized that one cannot notice the bias, unless one stops to analyze where one’s beliefs and thoughts come from. Also, the princesses in these films are depicted as beautiful, slim, and with a need to be rescued by the strong prince. These images can make young girls feel ugly, fat, and powerless. Meanwhile, boys are taught they need to be aggressive and dominating. For instance, the last time I went to the Disney store I overheard a mother telling her daughter to put back the “prince’s sword” because it is just for boys because “they like to fight, but girls need to look pretty” and therefore the mother handed a fake make- up kit to her daughter instead. I was shocked at that moment to be listening to such a comment from a mother to a young daughter. Now, this young child will probably grow up believing she is helpless and is only worth her beauty. This girl may also start thinking it is okay for a boy or man to hit and fight with others because it is just the way they are supposed to behave. Therefore, blogs like this one can serve to educate those who need to see where their internalized beliefs on gender come from and how such beliefs can harm children.

    Comment by Jennifer H — February 26, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  51. Disney movies portray a deeper imagine that what it is really thought to be. Growing up and watching these movies myself, I can only remember that all the Disney Princesses were pretty. All these women did something to attract their “Prince” and live happily ever after. As girls from a young age we are prone to believe that we have to beautiful to find prince charming or we will not be happy and we will not have a fairytale ending. I think not only does this have an effect on women, it also effects males. Boys are prone to believe that they are in control and have dominance over women, and if they do then they will have a beautiful princess. In Disney movies we can see that society draws the line between masculinity and femininity and from an early age we are socialized (through media) to believe that boys are princes’ and girls are princesses. As young children we did not know what these subliminal messages and stereotypes meant until we were old enough to understand them, and judge them for ourselves. The messages that these Disney movies set are portrayed through dominance and underpowered.

    Comment by Erchanik P. — February 29, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  52. Most people are aware how Disney and other popular children’s films encourage certain traits in little girls but I never really thought about what these movies teach to little boys. While on the surface they do teach some important values (like the importance of family in Finding Nemo and The Incredibles), they are also giving children subtle messages about what is expected from them as a boy or girl. I never realized how in the majority movie, the girls happy ending is by finding a husband and ‘living happily ever after’ while the boys continue to go through life being the important, manly-men they always were. It’s sad that most people don’t even realize how these roles are so stereotyped as children and we think of it as the natural way that things are. Gender socialization is so subtle that kids are learning these lessons and not even noticing that they’re being taught a flawed system. The same goes for televisions shows for kids as well as the books and magazines. This makes it even more important for the parents to encourage their children to explore their variety of different options in life; girls don’t have to grow up and be housewives and boys don’t have to grow up to be business moguls or firemen. They are allowed to do whatever they want in life. While this doesn’t completely stop this cycle of encouraged behavior from certain genders, I assume it would help a little bit.

    Comment by Adrienne S — March 2, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  53. Children’s gender roles are influenced heavily by the media and what they watch. Growing up, I took the movies lightly, but now that I’ve thought about it, the gender roles are made very evident in these Disney movies. It’s pretty amazing how society begins to expect children to fall under their gender role, instead of allowing children to explore and have every quality they feel comfortable with whether it is a “feminine” or “masculine” one. Many of the Disney movies feature a beautiful damsel in distress being rescued by a manly and strong hero, so these movies set up a criteria as to what girls and boys should look and act like. These movies need to show a more realistic character or have more diverse characters that boys and girls can truly identify with instead of characters they feel they need to grow up to be.

    Comment by Cynthia M. — March 3, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  54. I recently watched a documentary called “Mickey Mouse Monopolies” which opened my eyes to the portrayal of women in Disney films. Like the authors found here, it is disturbing to realize the images, values, and norms that we pass onto our children through the media we allow them to see. One scene that I can not forget is when the documentary analyzed the verbal and nearly physical abuse that Bell goes through trying to change the Beast in the classic film “Beauty and the Beast.” They asked little girls if it was ok for a boy to be mean to girl. They surprisingly said yes if they apologized later or if the girl did something wrong. They also felt that Bell should put up with the Beast because he will change if she helps him. (As a woman, I can tell you I have thought that maybe I can change a particular mate if I was different or helped him. I wonder where this idea came from?) As a woman getting an education in Psychology, all I could think is that this is the foundation for Battered Women’s Syndrome. We like to think that things are changing, but the truth is everywhere we look in the media women are still portrayed primarily as sex objects or domestic creatures.

    Comment by J. Prock — March 3, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  55. In the fall I took a class in Journalism that focused on DIversity and the media. The class was shown a film that focused on the gender portrayals Disney Films projected. I had noticed prior to watching the film in class that Disney does promote stereotypical gender traits. For example: all Disney Princesses are slim, coke bottle shape bodies, wear tons of make-up and all are saved by some handsome and strong prince. Of course the main male character has the chiseled abs, nice smile, tall, buff and always plays the roe of a hero. What I didn’t realize prior to the video shown in class was the over load of these images, dialogue and constant reinforcement that girls/women are to act passive and remain beautiful at all times and boys/men are to be strong, handsome and aggressive people. Disney isn’t the only media outlet that our society faces today as a problem, its the fact that all our media promotes these negative gender traits.I believe most kids by a young age understand these roles that are displayed all around them and because of the Social Learning theory they re-enact these gender portrayals. Some say that our society is changing for the better, but I personally don’t find that to be true. Yes, there are campaigns that are promoting better images, for example, the Dove campaigns that show how images are retouched and almost completely altered before being placed in a magazine or a billboard. Campaigns like the Dove one are for the better, but that it only one campaign. In order for our society to change we need all media outlets to do the same, but I honestly never see that happening.

    Comment by Venezia R — March 5, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  56. I love Disney but this is very true. The only Disney princess I can think of who doesn’t just sing and look pretty is Princess Jasmine. She is pretty outspoken. But in the end she still needs to be saved by Aladdin. These movies are sending the wrong messages to kids. Disney should really stop enforcing gender stereotypes.

    Comment by Jessica Seigel — March 5, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  57. Watching this video makes me wonder what I am doing to my son subconsciously as a parent by showing him male dominated motion pictures. I normally would choose his movies with male heroes and well no princesses because well according to society from what I have learned is girls watch princess movies and boys do the opposite. Here and there I would incorporate female role model videos for him. With time I began to see my six year old associate himself, choose the strongest fastest men and imagine himself being them. It becomes a cycle of us as parents unknowingly teaching our children to be a certain way depending on their sex and if they stray they will not triumph like these super heroes. We are also split into deciding which is the best decision because for example for my boy if I had been showing him “feminine” motion pictures and he began to show other types of behaviors my first thought would be that he would be made fun of and who wants that for their kids. It is a complicated issue…

    Comment by Jessica N — March 6, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  58. I could not agree more media like Disney cartoons, movies, and episodes make the boys have the need to be tough, strong and independent. Girls need to be gentle, sweet, and beautiful because no one likes an ugly girl that does not look like one of the Disney princesses. As a child my favorite one was Cinderella I maybe watched that cartoon about 100 times and still was not sick of it but it made me feel bad about myself because I did not look like that. Growing up I thought to be pretty meant you need to look like Cinderella in order to find a boy to like you. However I am happy to see that they have created princess characters that are from different cultures, but that’s the only thing that has changed they are all still very skinny. The prince always gets in a fight in order to save his princess or win her back. In order to be a man you must be willing to fight for what you want. It’s very wrong women are just as capable as men are.

    Comment by Merri Abramyan — March 7, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  59. As a little girl, I never noticed the differences in gender identification when watching animated movies. I was mostly compelled with the story of the movie and mostly the end of the movie. Without any awareness to my conscious I didn’t know that I was being influenced by television that girls were only good at being the weaker sex because the love story portrayed was more than that to me. Watching the video and reading books about gender socialization made me realize that we are subjected to gender inequality. We are being brain washed and we believe every single thing put out there. What we fail to understand is that many of the commercial ads, movies, magazines, and radio are all fantasy and we sometimes try to actualize that type of life.

    Comment by Gloria T. — March 7, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

  60. I am going to have to play devil’s advocate here. I am openly a Disney fanatic and believe in their films. I will not doubt admit that the images of men and women in Disney films is often over exaggerated, but this could be said for any major cartoon or animated feature! Even in Scooby Doo, a popular non disney cartoon that has lasted through the ages, the girls are in short figure flattering dresses, while Shaggy the thinner man is a frightened mess all of the time and Freddie, the hunky cool headed man is fearless. It is not necessarily Disney’s fault for following what the public has already chosen to be represented as for decades, but I will admit that they clearly encouraged it further. I would still like to note though, that in Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, and Mulan (amongst others) the heroines of the films are independent women. Bell refuses to marry Gaston, the manly brute, but instead she falls in love with a beast because of his personality. Clearly she is frightened in the beginning of the film and not finding the beast to be hot stuff, therefore it is her genuine good heart that allows her to love the beast with his endearing personality. In Hercules, obviously he is a large man. He is HERCULES! A GREEK DEMI GOD! Honestly people, what did you expect? Meg as a heroine is more of the interesting subject here, because she is technically a bad guy. She sells her soul to Hades to save her lovers life and when it goes wrong, she becomes stubborn and refuses help to be saved by any man. She openly scolds Hercules for assuming she is a damsel in distress and he has to earn her adorations. And finally, Mulan. Mulan dressed as a boy to defy gender expectations and live her life as she wished- should we not be applauding her? Yes strength is emphasized in the film, but they are in the MILITARY. Last time I checked all militaries force soldiers to stay physically fit and used corporal punishment to assure that soldiers were obedient and strong. I may be called stubborn, but I find the examples in the film clip and this argument to be looking away from the meanings of these films and that these same things could be said about so much else in society that gets over looked, because Disney has the noticeable name.

    Comment by Montana.C — March 8, 2012 @ 12:47 am

  61. I find this being extremely strange since I never realized when I was a little girl that Disney movies were among strength, dominance, and sexism. For example, this article shows a huge separation from boys and girls and how men and women should be according to society. Not only I believe it’s sad, but its shows how media portrays the facts how girls and women should be in today’s society. This shows how women should look beautiful and have should be skinny for society to accept girls. Yet, we see how the Disney movies hardly have characters that are obese or don’t have the latest fashion trend since obviously the media wants people to consume and buy things such as the Disney store which it’s expensive. Not only Disney gets children attention at a young age, but it’s sad how media really influences children life to be once they grow up. In other words, they have Disney to brainwash the children heads at a young age for children to make them feel special and accepted in society by having specific gender roles at a young age. This not only affects children at a young age, but it shows them how they should act when there are around people in which many girls they have to act sweet and loveable in family reunion when you see boys, they are the one’s playing at the jumpers and playing tag with each other. Not only once someone is a kid, they really don’t notice how Disney and the media socialized them, but it shows how every time society is changing in which they new generation children have to look upon this gender roles that are being change every day.

    Comment by Alicia S. — March 8, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  62. I found this article very interesting, it is evident that society portrays this idea of women being less important then as early as childhood through the use of cartoons and the lack of female characters. Also as discussed in the article expectations of both sexes are instilled upon children at a young age causing men to fight to be strong and aggressive and women striving for beauty and the affection of a man. The sad part is the early we learn these messages the early we began our struggles with body images and will go to extremes to fit the mold of what is being demonstrated as “beautiful”. Also cartoons or programs directed at children still relay the messages that men are dominant and women should be subordinate or passive as aggression and strength are male traits and women are suppose to be more concerned with fining a man then having a voice and this may prevent girls from trying in school or working hard for success as they seem to be judged by nothing more than their beauty.

    Comment by Melissa Mata — March 9, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  63. I can honestly say I have never noticed the dominance men portray in disney movies. I always took away from it that love is supposed to be this fairy tale with a white horse and being carried away into a land of forever. After seeing this example film however it is very obvious the characters and their roles they have can easily make an impact on children and the way they see themselves and the opposite sex.

    Comment by H. Stevens — March 13, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  64. I think it is funny that I have grown up my entire life with watching all of these films and never noticed what they movie is actually portraying. I am a Disney fanatic and when I was younger and watched the movies I was so lost in the story of all of them that I never noticed the depiction of men and women. I can honestly say now that I am older and continue to watch these movies I still am oblivious. I get to caught up in the movie. Seeing the video was almost like a light bulb turning on for me saying hello how have you not noticed! They are always portraying the women as weak and the man as macho and strong. The women are usually doing something domestic while the men are doing something rugged. Then when i read the article I didn’t even realize that it is the same as we grow up. There are definitely films that are trying to change the cultural norms, but for the most part men always are out weighing the women. and the worst part for me is, being that I am a women, I don’t even realize it, to me it is just normal. I will definitely notice these things in movies to come and will want to find ones that are stepping out and changing the messages we are sending our society.

    Comment by CandiceG — March 14, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  65. After watching this short video clip on how masculinity and the images of masculinity illustrates in regular Disney movies really teaches us how it’s very clear how dominance in male characters are always brought out. These Disney Movies continue to show us how the male character should appear, and look a certain way. What does it really mean when sexism, dominance, and strength are the primary and portrays of boys that we see. I continue to understand that little boys are trained in becoming a dominant figure from a very young age. By watching these kinds of movies, even if these are only Disney Movies, the story and the messages that are given to us from it are very powerful and do affect the children. I sometimes think these messages that we take in from these movies are hidden messages and we think its normal, and go on living our daily lives trying to live the lifestyle the prince and the princess lived. The video later continued on how the male figure should be a certain way, and how the dominant male has a figure where all the other men in the movie would want. Then it went on how movies usually end in two men fighting for the women, and the women now get to decide which male is the better man. This all comes down to my conclusion, how we grow up watching these films thinking it’s just a fairytale, but we don’t take in consideration that this actually affects our lives.

    Comment by Marianna B. — March 14, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  66. I’ll be honest – as a woman, I never saw beyond the harmful messages Disney movies put out about women. The above video was very helpful to see that men are also at risk for these seemingly innocent fairy tales.

    Disney has always been on top of making sure these types of messages and stories are marketed and have a continuous effect even after the movie has been watched. Looking at toy stores after a Disney movie is released is proof: when you look at Disney “Cars” toys they are marketed to boys. Girls have plenty to choose from in the Princess collections. I think the bottom line is that Disney leaves little choice for children to dream and desire something other than the prepackaged male and female they keep churning out.

    Comment by Noel L. — March 22, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

  67. As a child who grew up on Disney movies, it has never occurred to me until recently how stereotypes of gender are reinforced in these films. The archetypal “damsel in distress” has brought young girls to believe and expect that there will be that one “Prince Charming” that will fall in love with them so that they can live happily ever after – only if they are thin and beautiful. This also reinforces the notion that a women must depend on a man, who is strong, brave, chiseled, and handsome, and that she will be incomplete in life without him. These characteristics do not reflect all men and women, but they certainly reflect essentialist views of gender.

    Comment by Jasmine Y. — March 22, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

  68. I can’t believe I’ve been watching Disney movies my whole life and never realized their subliminal messages. I always thought Disney movies were wholesome and sweet but now I see them in a whole different light. I watched all those movies over and over again during my childhood years, how could we all be so blind? I guess its better late than never. I really hope something is done about the messages that Disney is trying to portray with these movies. Thank you for sharing such an enlightening video.

    Comment by Melody A. — March 24, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  69. I find it so interesting that from a young age, we have all been conditioned to place specific attributes to females and males. when i think of my childhood, i think of curling on the couch with my mommy and watching back to back Disney films. we have all been “brain-washed” to think that a true man/hero has to be handsome, tall, strong, etc. and the women, as portrayed in the song in mulan, has to be able to cook. after watching this clip on all the ways gender socialization is portrayed through the media, i have come to a conclusion that the media is to be blamed for all the issues we face with sexuality and the characteristics associated with them today.

    Comment by Chantelle A — March 24, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  70. I found the video at the beginning of the article to be extremely insightful. Moreover, I was unaware as a child of the gender socialization that Disney portrayed in their films until I grew up. A few weeks ago I took my little cousins to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D and as I was watching I noticed how much they were pushing the “male identity” to be very masculine with a bulky body and huge muscles. On the same note, I found that the video was on-point in mentioning that every other man in the film who does not have such a physique is inferior and insignificant. I also noticed while watching the film that they made Bell, the female character, seems way too vulnerable and dependent on the help of a man. One theme that did pass me in Disney movies was the classic clashing of the titans at the conclusion of the film, where the hero (a man) fights the villain (also a man) for the love of the heroine (female). I never really noticed this theme until this video in the article pointed it out to me, but it does really reinforce unstable gender roles and leads to inaccurate gender stereotypes. The article uses the word “Essentialism”, which I find to be very interesting, since these films try to use these themes in order to make it seem like men and women are “naturally” masculine and feminine, respectively.

    Comment by Ben B — March 25, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  71. It’s crazy to think about because it’s a concept that I never thought about it. I grew up with these movies and I have never once analyzed and took into account how these films portray male dominance. These Disney films focus on the image of masculinity being strong, with chizzled abs and it’s being targeted to a young audience. It’s hard to think Disney movies promoted sexism and male dominance. Its definitely an eye opener knowing that sexiest is a huge issue, you grow up not knowing that its being promoted everywhere and its right in front of your eyes in your favorite childhood movies.

    Comment by Erica — March 28, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  72. I’ve never really been a fan of Disney movies. However, once I married my husband who works for Disney I was then forced to become part of the Disney family. Yes, forced. As a Disney wife people assume you love anything Disney. My mother-in-law has been working for Disney about 25 years and she portrays the traditional Disney mentality. The hero is the man and the female is the damsel in distress. There are some stories where the female character portrays strong attributes but at the end still needs the help of a man to succeed. Children are drawn to strong characters; they view them as either heroes or villains. Were the weaker characters are clumsy and funny. About 3 months ago I was allowed to show the 5 year old girl I nanny the Little Mermaid. As she was watching the movie she had a million questions. I told her she could only ask me one question at the end of the movie and that would be the only question I would answer. Once the movie was done she turned around and asked me “Why did Ariel get married if she was only 16 years old?” Disney movies show young children that female characters need to rely on men to accomplish their goals. Ariel wanted to be free from her father and she was once married. However, Erick had to fight for her love, not in the fairy tale love way but man to man fight. The strongest would save Ariel. Disney movies are showing young boys that in order to gain love or what you want you must fight for it. Only the strongest survive.

    Comment by Yadira DiSiena — April 4, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  73. This video clip was very close to home for me. I personally have watched all the Disney movies mentioned in the clip a million times. I have often thought of how those movies made me feel as a girl and now women. I hadn’t thought as much how these films make boys and men feel. I think it is a great insight that many people can see and relate to. These movies also show something to both girls and boys of what they later expect men and women to be. Not only do Disney movies favor women with beauty as good but they send a message to boys that only attractive women are desirable. The same message is sent to girls that they should desire men who are big and handsome. And men who are ultra masculine and unemotional. These messages about ourselves and the opposite sex stick with us for life. Even if we do not follow them they are present. Disney movies have a powerful effect on the minds of the worlds youth. And considering that all these movies convey similar messages, it just shows how powerful seeing the same message in similar forms over and over, can effect the psyche of a child. I wonder what Freud would say if he saw children effected by the Disney movies of today? And are Disney movies trying to make money, or shape society to fit certain norms? Food for thought and something we really should worry about.

    Comment by S.Lockey — April 6, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  74. I believe the media does highly influence children and I believe it is done in the worst way because it is all subtle and behind the scenes so they don’t even realize they are being brain washed. On the other hand, after watching this video clip, I must say that I disagree with a lot of the conclusions the video clip makes. As a psychology major I have always been taught to always be skeptical and think about all the variables that may be involved in an issue. By watching this video clip I realize I am watching something from a very one sided persuasive point of view. We cannot solely blame Disney movies for shaping gender norms because I believe parents and what goes on in the home is far more responsible for the shaping of children. I recently had a quick wake up call about how Disney makes the beauty of women look during a visit to the movie theater. My sister and I went to see Beauty in the Beast 3D and I must admit I immediately thought “WOW all the girl characters boobs are HUGE!” I mean yes I did not just use proper language but those were the words that went through my head especially in 3D it was OBVIOUS! This helped me realize although I never noticed this detail as a child even though I watched the movie hundreds of times it probably contributed to my body image growing up. In this case I feel the Disney movies can contribute to girl images of themselves and how they feel they should look to be beautiful. One comment I did not agree with was that Disney movies revolve around men. All of the classic movies: Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc. all of the main characters are women. Also, the video says that Disney gives boys an overly masculine image of men. I agree that many of the male characters have overly masculine “buff” bodies. What I want to point out though is that the more “macho” men such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast are always seen as the bad guys. The more feminine looking men such as all the “Prince Charming” characters are seen as the good guys. Overall, I feel Disney does have an influence on how children see themselves in their gender role but I also feel their are many other factors that are more influential to a child’s identity than movies.

    Comment by Patrina C — April 7, 2012 @ 8:52 am

  75. I never noticed the way Disney represented any sex. I was not aware of the sexism behind the movies. I never even noticed the sexual references that people find. I just watch a movie to enjoy and be entertained for a short time. Now that I think it about I think disney does have some influence towards kids, specially the shows on the disney channel. Looking back on the characteres in the movies I can see what gender roles each character protrays….Eric in the Little Mermaid seemed to have a maculine/feminine quality while the sea queen seemed more maculine to me…or Alladin…Jafar seemed to be the masculine character and he was also protrayed as the villian. So it can be concluded that the villian in the story would have masculine trait and the rest would be on the feminine persona. The female characters are always protrayed as beautiful, slim, big breasted women. Giving the young girls the wrong impression. They already get misguided imformation with the Barbie Doll…growing up girls try to look like these figures because society makes them believe that is the ideal woman. Already at a young age there is influential gender imaging.

    Comment by Eternity Holloway — April 10, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  76. I grew up watching all these movies and never took in consideration all the “sexist” things it all seemed so natural. It sad to see that young children are being exposed through movies they love. These innocent children are not living their life the way they want to. Instead taught to be a certain way. Girls must be beautiful for attention and boys must show a tough image. These stereotypes have been implemented back in the days and will forever continue.

    Comment by Angelica Oseguera — April 11, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  77. This post makes it obvious that children, from a young age, are predisposed to gender roles in society. These ideas may come from family, friends, and school, but I think a lot of what children learn about gender in society is based from the media. Girls and boys are portrayed one way in media and that transcends to adulthood. Girls are always the damsel in distress who needs a man to survive, and boys are the strong masculine type who need to protect and be successful. If I take movies from my childhood, for instance Cinderella, Cinderella needs to find love. In most cases, all of these tales involve women finding love. I also agree with this blog when it says that women need to be beautiful and men need to work. These notions have been planted in our heads for so long that it is almost impossible to change how we think.

    Comment by Catie Smith — April 14, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  78. Throughout my whole childhood I have been exposed to pretty much the majority of Disney’s classic films, and until my high school years did not really ponder on the sexism and stereotypes that they portray within the movies and characters themselves. These issues didn’t come to my attention until some high school friends of mine showed me some videos and clips that were focused on displaying the negative connotations and gender stereotypes within the movies. I came to realize that gender roles and expectations are engraved early within our youth and wasn’t able to really pay attention to this until my later years. As stated in the article above, cultivation seems to be something that starts influencing people from childhood and further influences them throughout life. The constant barrage of negative messages that are shown through mass media and films are an eminent warning sign that it is because of these depictions that aren’t helping stereotypes become less prominent. Women are portrayed as weak, emotional, and dependent on men, while men are portrayed as strong, independent, and practically stoic in emotion. There is a cause for change from these messages that target children as much as adults, but with these norms being so engraved in our society it would seem difficult for it to change anytime soon. The positive thing about all of this is that these issues come to people’s attention and realize little by little that maybe these gender roles are more harmful than helpful for men and women, let alone for children.

    Comment by Jon K. — April 22, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  79. I pretty much owned every disney movie that came out in the 90′s. I had never noticed how gender based a lot of the plots were, until now. There was always a hero who turned out to be a male, while the girl always played the beautiful princess. For example, one of my favorite Disney movies Aladdin. Children learn to socialize through what they learn and see as their expected gender roles. Ig boys are only taught to be strong, tough, fearless, etc. then they will grow up with the notion that they have to be these things in order to be considered a male. They are not taught to have a sensitive side or show emotion. Whereas girls/women are taught that being beautiful is there most important job. Being passive and showing emotions is what girls are taught to do at a young age. The gender roles that men and women play today was taught to them in early childhood. The roles are structured into society’s norms and the way men and women interact in this world is because of these roles.

    Comment by Danielle K — April 23, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  80. This is so interesting to me. I have notice this when I was a young child. I asked my grandma, “Why does the guys always want to kiss the girl?” I remember this like it was yesterday. This was really strange to me. Not only was it strange for me as a child to be asking this but also for me to notice all these shows were promoting sex and lies. They make it seem like it is a bad thing that a guy is soft and sensitive. So, when kids get older they already think negative things about a soft guy or a strong girl. They have stereotypes like, “tomboys” for girls and “fags” for boys. Then as you get older you stick with these stereotypes because that is all you know in a sense. But, as you learn different things and see how the media portrays these topic and images you see how it is all lies. The media show that women who show the most skin is sexy and popular. The guys with the most muscles and the one that can protect are the most popular and they can get any girl. So, when children see this they automatically start to create low self-esteem for themselves with out noticing it. The mind picks up what the eyes do not see.

    Comment by Bri Davis — April 24, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  81. To be completely honest, I always noticed the sexism within these movies but each time I ignored them because I contextualized them within the time period they took place in. I was aware that old France and ancient Japanese culture was sexist and that the man would usually end up the protagonist because women had not yet become as independent as they are now. The issue I have with this is that Disney should not have made movies that revolve around conflict like these or physical capabilities/competitions, instead, they should have focused their young, impressionable audience to more informative, culturally rich, diverse/impartial plots which teach universal moral truths. This would take the place of the extremely sexist and misguided themes portrayed of masculinity and femininity in these films.

    Comment by Stephanie Farzam — April 24, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  82. I personally feel like Disney has not changed much, instead they are reinforcing sexism, by showing the old films in 3-D or coming out with new scenarios. The latest Disney movie still continue with the same concept as before the male is the one that is stronger, tougher, and independent. Females are vulnerable, weak, and always need someone to protect them. The latest movies that show that are for example, Mars Needs Mom where you have a little boy go to mars and get her mother, so what this movie is saying is that at a young age boys need to learn that if their fathers are not around they are the ones that need to protect their mothers. It seems like Disney is trying to make women independent, but even like that they have their main characters guided by a man. Rapunzel is an example where you have, her wanting to escape her tower and in search of a parade of lights for her birthday, but she is guided by a strong rebellious guy who is going to guide her there. Like a said, nothing much has changed, this concept of sexism will still continue to occur.

    Comment by Tania — April 26, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  83. I really never saw any Disney movies as a child because I did not know where they were showed at. My culture does not really have their children showed movies about princesses or love. However, one thing I always understood was they were full of princesses who wanted to be saved by their prince. This shows girls they need a man in order to be happy as adults. Another thing I noticed was how skinny and beautiful these princesses were drawn and the evil characters where always fat, ugly, and old. The prince was always showed as masculine, handsome, and brave. This stirs up the idea in girls that they are princesses and they need to look beautiful in order to attract that prince later on in life. One thing that bothered me was how these princesses were always drawn because it is obvious they are trying to show that in order to be beautiful you need to be skinny. There is no princess that is shown a little overweight. So skinny being one factor for children to be in order to be beautiful, skin color is the other. Most princesses are shown light skinned leading to many children growing up having issues on how they look and bleaching their skin in order to appear lighter. Little boys are being lead into believing they need to grow up being masculine, tough, strong, and handsome. The last factor I am going to state why I don’t like these movies is that they are so gender role in showing girls they are to wait for the male to be the ones to save them while the men are the ones who are the hard thinkers and the women are the passive actors that are fragile and soft.

    Comment by Jovanna G — April 26, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  84. As I a kid I watched all the Disney movies, learned all the lyrics, and watched the entire princess movies over and over. A couple of months ago did I realized how all these movies had somewhat to do in shaping my beliefs. For example, watching all the princess stories, we all grow up wanting a prince charming when in reality he does not exists. We want to be beautiful like the princess, so we are taught early on that beauty is important and will be able to find prince charming. As well that we need to be rescued by a man. There are so many messages that as kids we consume by watching all these movies throughout the years. The video mentioned that men are characterized by their chiseled body and valued for their power and strength physically. It shocking to realize that the movies that I watched and loved as a kid would hold these messages on how we are expected to be and act within society.

    Comment by DeniseF — April 26, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

  85. “ If gendered characteristics and their expected behaviors are seen as inevitable and natural, punishment for one’s transgression is seen as inevitable. And, that’s where the danger resides.” I feel that it is an important issue to address, that the concept of essentialism and the process of cultivation and mediated images children are receiving be examined more carefully as a restructuring of the programs and movies that they watch are a hindrance to the future of their well beings as they are pushed to believe the preconceived notions that are both blatantly and subtly immersed in their minds as gender sanctioning of beliefs. These beliefs induce children to believe in these gendered sanctions as norms, pushing toward a patterned inequality within gender as sexism, patriarchal views, and a dynamic play of who should or shouldn’t feel in terms of emotionally being connected as a woman or being strong and virile, emotionless as a man. It’s a horrible notion to take in, the fact that society would be much better off if constructed societal norms were easier to evade, as children would grow to be much more open to difference for difference wouldn’t be as strictly sanctioned or regulated through the initiation of Disney mediation and such.

    Comment by Byron — April 28, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  86. Growing up I loved all these movies. I never realized the gender socialization going on in them honestly until I was an adult. I think that is because when we are kids we are still innocent. We enjoy the movies for the colors, the character (in general), the musical number, and the funny things that sometimes happen. I guess that is exactly how they are supposed to “rope us in”. Get them while they are young and they’ll never suspect a thing. We grow to learn these things are normal. The fact is, girls really do want to grow up to be princesses who get saved by their prince charming. There is a great inequality in Disney Movies, and I personally have not seen a change. I think I got lucky with my family. While they wanted me to grow up like any other girl, they accepted me being a total tomboy and wanting to do everything just like my brothers. Maybe if these types of gender socialization didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be so much pressure on girls to focus so much on being beautiful at such young age. It’s really hurtful to anyone who grew up with these movies, as well as generations to come.

    Comment by Katy S — April 29, 2012 @ 2:02 am

  87. I remember as a kid I would always watch the disney movies and cartoons; and, I never noticed the segragation between gender untill today. Today I see how the roles in the media are segregated. Women are portrayed as concentrating in their beauty and finding a boyfriend.Females are supposed to care for their partner and their children. Men are portrayed in a tough way, they are strong and they powerful. They are very dominan and they are assigned to take charge of their family. Children are seeing these roles and they are trying to be like them. The message that is being sent is not good for children because they are segragating both genders. Children are learning how to behave according to the norms of society. If the roles are followed by children, gender equality will never occur.

    Comment by Maira Pacheco — April 29, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  88. Disney movies were my favorite as a child. I believe that there are messages about gender in each of the movies that were produced. I think Disney only made movies about how society should be socially constructed in only this way because thats what “is right.” They wouldn’t make movies about how the princess will save the prince, or if two princes fell in love, or if a fat princess fell in love with a weak looking prince. Those qualities in society is “WRONG” and if we “teach” our children those ways, then they will become “bad.” I think Disney wants to show the stereotype and gender qualities that a person should be. A woman should always be fit, skinny, beautiful and can cook while the man is a hunter and will save you from the evil monster. When children watch these movies, they are given examples of how to act. From older to newer Disney movies, they have always showed how the princes are aggressive and the princesses as fragile and I don’t think this will ever change.

    Comment by Linda Piyawadhanachai — April 30, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  89. It is surprising to me that out of the top 101 g-rated movies that men were the main characters. It seems that women are popular characters and especially those in Disney movies and all the princess’s. In these movies they also portrayed the gender socialization, having this in these children movies will only show children how they should behave and what men want in women. Seeing that there are few main female characters I would think that there would be something done and more movies now being made with the main character being females. Women are supposed to be focusing on beauty and relationships with men so that men will want them. It is so hard for a woman to be exactly what the media says she is supposed to be and they will spend so long trying.

    Comment by allison — April 30, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  90. Wow I did not realize how much females are oppressed in Disney movies. First off I think that these movies heavily influence children to adopt such behaviors and ideas due to the fact that Disney are strictly targeted towards children. Kids and even adults cannot pin point the sexism and inequalities that these films promote. I personally watched a lot of Disney films but did I adopt such behaviors and ideas? No, but every individual is different and some feel pressure to imitate the images they see. Just like addressing the issue of racism, we need to educate individuals on sexism, because they all share the same effects of violence and oppression.

    Comment by Oscar M — April 30, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  91. Media has always reinforced the male dominance in our society. Disney was an strong leader to this targeting children and developing their minds of this. They always portray the females as needing to be saved yet beautiful in the own right, and males as the protectors and being strong. These images that are placed in the minds of children carry on into the older ages. The mentality that men are suppose to be strong and protective, and women are the weaker species becomes reality due to the norms of how they were brought up. This is even seen in commercials as women doing all the house work, or teen shows that create an image to what a girl needs to be to be popular and beautiful affects women in later ages by constantly disliking themselves due to not being what society tells them is beautiful. Until media changes, the only way to create a better future is through education.

    Comment by PhilipW — April 30, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

  92. I cannot believe that I just now noticed all of the gender roles in those Disney movies. Some of those are my favorite movies that I have watched hundreds of times. I’ve seen a lot of homemade Disney collages saying that through Disney movies females are taught to sneak out of our homes, believe that we need to find a man to be happy, must cater to a man and lie. It’s actually saddening to see that since childhood gender roles have been instilled in our minds making it almost impossible for us to advance towards gender equality.

    Comment by Michelle A. — April 30, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  93. As we grow up with all these disney movies as a child we never saw all the message of masculinity and femininity, sexism, strength, and dominance that they portray to kids. At an early age we learn that men have to fight in order to get the girl and to do this you need to strong and brave because that is what a man is suppose to be. Women such as princess are portrayed as weak, beautiful, and that they need a man to save them no matter what. All these are being installed in children at a young age so no wonder boys grow up to be people that show no emotion and think that being tough and strong is what is most important. I feel that disney needs to show more emotion out of guys in these movies and to this day i still see these stereotypes of what a real man is suppose to be and feel that we need to make to make a change for the generation of children so they can grow up to think that we are all equal.

    Comment by Denisse Teutla — April 30, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  94. Media especially Disney has always had a strong influence on our society especially as children. I remember when I was younger I would often and wonder when my prince would save me and fight my enemies. I guess in my imagination I was automatically weak and vulnerable. Since this has become a norm in our society some people don’t see the affects and problems it can have and carry in the long run. Girl’s shouldn’t have to feel like they need to constantly feel and be beautiful in order to be valued in our society; it isn’t right. That’s why we have so many young girls with mental and physical disorders as well as men who always trying so hard to keep and fight for their masculinity.

    Comment by Ally P — April 30, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  95. As a young girl I would always look forward to watching my Disney movies after daycare or school. However, now that I’m older I look at those movies in a completely different light. I seem how male dominated these movies are, and how much of a patriarchy they are based on. The females in these movies are always a “damsel in distress” and they are always centered on getting the handsome tough guy. The men are always seen as the hero who saves the day and gets the girl. When I think about the message these movies send our youth I cant help but feel discouraged. Most children are exposed mainly to Disney movies; young girls and boys are conditioned at such a young age to identify with these gender roles. In today’s society women are always depicted as the weak house wives who need their tough strong men to keep them stable. It’s no wonder adult media centers around this notion when as children that same stereotypes are depicted. How can women have any self-respect when from childhood they’re told to look beautiful and wait for prince charming to come sweep them off their feet.

    Comment by Scarlett G — May 1, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  96. This article brings up some very valid points as to what we are actually exposing our children to even in the little things such as child movies. Although to them it just a story and fantasy, it subconsciously builds an idea of how men and women are supposed to look like and act in society. Although it may be inaccurate, these films are producing and telling historical norms of our society to the young generations of our culture. They depict men as strong, hard headed independents while women are supposed to act like a princess and have everything served/handed to them as long as they “look pretty.” These norms that are being shown to our children are having a bigger effect on them than probably noticed. Only recently are we starting to realize that some of things we thought were harmless are in fact informing our youth of inaccurate depictions on how men and women should look, act, and think in society.

    Comment by Kincaidw — May 1, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  97. I grew up watching Disney films and still have a love for the movies, but it is true how gender socialization in the Disney films are portraying women and men. Children grow up watching Disney films and continuously watch them. This message isn’t right for children’s development. After reading this article I realize how these gender socialization’s in media have taken an ailing effect on me. I used to watch Disney films all the time as a child and never realized the impact it would have on me later on in life. After reading this article, I started to piece the memories of my childhood days with Disney films into my teenage life stages. I remember my anticipation waiting for prince charming to come, which isn’t how it works. It just started to form my perception of what gender roles, norms and values I must follow as I got older without me even being aware of it. It’s amazing how media can really shape people’s constructs of gender socialization. Overall, I think all mass media has been at fault not just Disney films to cause this effect of gender socialization. It is unfortunate how the media images have somehow become the educator of gender socialization.

    Comment by Elizabeth D. — May 1, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  98. I grew up on Disney films and as a child you absorb so much information and you are so naïve to the actual meaning behind such films that it instills this sort of acceptable behavior. The princess films is something that all little girls idolize on. The negative effects that media outlets have on children is overwhelming. Girls grow up with this idea that they have to find love to be happy. I remember in high school all teenage girls thought about was getting a boyfriend. The behavior we witness from some of our favorite fairy tales from Disney movies portray princesses relying on the rescue of their male princes. Disney has made some films that portray the strength of women, (I really think Mulan was great at promoting feminism.) It has also come out with new films that don’t just focus on mainly white characters. The more recent The Princess and the Frog portrays a young black female who inhabits strong free will and a dream to run her own business. These are the kind of films that young children should be introduced to. It wasn’t actually until I took a GWS course here that I realized one of my favorite movies Beauty and the Beast that I truly recognized the disparity between the sexes.

    Comment by Lyndsay Porchas — May 3, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  99. Recently watching some Disney movies, I was painfully aware of all the sexism and patriarchy in these films. It was sad to see some of my most favorite movies as a child blasted in such a derogatory nature. These movies are supposed to the be the movies children first watch and understand, and they’re learning sexism so young? We are socialized to understand these gender norms that now seem like such a joke to me. These children are going to constantly think that they must be the man who saves the damsel in distress, or that little girls must be pretty, prim, and proper to grab their prince charming. Is this really want we want to instill in our future generations?

    Comment by Kaitlin V — May 5, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  100. I grew up watching many Disney movies and I do believe that it has cultivated many of the ideas that I believe. Although I am not proud of it, I know now that I must begin to process the media in a much more conscious way. Media Literacy is very important is the society that we live in, because we are constantly being bombarded with advertisements, messages on the radio, television, etc. And if we are not aware of the messages that are they are trying to invoke, we, as well as the children will continue to strengthen these gender norms. I plan to have children in the future and to know that Disney Movies will continue to gender socialize children incorrectly is a very scary thing. I’m hoping that by the time I do have children, the media will stop telling us that women need to look a certain way to please men, and that “real” men view women as objects.

    Comment by Mitchelle Bareng — May 6, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  101. I never realized this in these disney movies but after watching this video it is clearly stated and extremely noticeable. Our young boys and girls are taught through cartoons in our society on the “right” way to act based on your gender. We raise children on inequality and that should not be the focus of cartoons here in the 21st Century. These movies are are what i grew up on and if I didn’t notice the sexism,strength, and dominance until this video, I definitely didn’t even come close to realizing it when I was a child watching them.

    Comment by Michael Champieux — May 6, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  102. As a child i did watched all the disney movies and I wasn’t aware of the inequalities and sexism there is on those movies, but now that I watch them and understand what the purpose of them is they are not enjoyable to watch. Society paints an unrealistic image of how males and females should be. Its’ incredible for how long these movies being out there and what it is more shocking that most of the parents are not aware of the impact that will cause on their kids life. Most of the princess on the movies seem fragile, thin, slim sweet therefore the paint an image that feales are not strong and powerfull as men, all they do id look preety and wait for love. The boys have an image of being physical atractive, muscular and powerfull they are presuure to be like that and if they don’t they have an idea that they will eceive negative sanctions from the society.

    Comment by Gladys S — May 7, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  103. I grew up watching Disney movies, I still do. For me, Disney has always been associated with goodness, happiness, and kindness, not patriarchy and brainwashing. Watching the video hasn’t completely changed my mind about that, but I do feel taken advantage of and manipulated. I would think Disney would be the ones to promote self-expression to the fullest, especially with such a large gay fan base. Unfortunately, I understand that like any company, their first priority is profit. Profit from little boys with plastic swards and little girls in pink princess dresses and all the accessories that come with it that the parents are so willing to buy. I guess even G rated Disney movies should come with a warning..this film may perpetuate patriarchy and gender stereotypes.

    Comment by Jessica C — May 7, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

  104. I believe that kids are more influenced by the media because commercials, movies, and cartoons are gendered and do not allow kids to have an imagination or choose to wear whatever color they want. Toys also separate boys from girls because boys are expected to play with trucks, cars, or superheroes. Girls are encouraged to play with dolls, barbies and kitchens. The only cartoon that I can think of with a girl being the narrator is Dora the Explorer and the rest of the common cartoons have a male as the main character. This can make girls feel like they are not as important as boys and this carries onto adulthood. I remember being young and looking at boys to to the heavy lifting at school or watch them play sports while the girls played on the playground. The media has to recognize that they have the most influence on a child and they socialize them. If they were to change the way they advertise their toys and make them gender neutral, boys and girls would not feel so pressured to conform to always looking good and being in style. I think that this makes kids feel insecure and it should be the opposite because they should enjoy their childhood and clothes and worrying about toys should be the last thing on their minds.

    Comment by Sonia B. — May 9, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  105. I grew up watching Disney movies and it never crossed my mind that Disney displayed patriarchal roles, which included men being the savors and women that needed to be saved. After watching the clip it sadly brought this to my attention. Society depicts males as in charge while females are looked down on or have to be taken care of. All Disney movies have the same plot, which is a young beautiful woman has to be rescued from a handsome man because of some type of cures. All in all, Disney movies affect its viewers because young girls watch them and expect to be rescued from a handsome guy and as they get older they see marriage as the only way they will be rescued, which is not always the case. I believe Disney movies have the greatest affect on young girls and I can clearly see its affects on my little sister, which is six years old. Although, Disney is starting to display women like Mulan, a strong independent women, they have a long way to go to repair its damages.

    Comment by Debora G — May 9, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

  106. As a child I didn’t not realize how the images in the media were socializing me. Now as an adult I am more aware of how the media influences my everyday life. I was and am still a very big fan of the little mermaid. As child it just seemed like such a cute story. Being able to analyze it’s true meaning. Has made me realize that it is not what it seem at all. It reinforces that women are weak and only make decisions on emotion. That we should give up everything for the love of a man. Now as a parent I am doing my best to avoid making the same mistakes with my toddler. I do my best to buy him toys that are more about cognitive and motor skills development. I have noticed how he likes cars. I begin to wonder if my spouse and I are guilty of teaching him that he is supposed to like cars. It is difficult to say really. I can say that I will do my best to keep him only watching media images the will socialize gender roles on him.

    Comment by Esmeralda Martinez — May 9, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  107. I never really gave it much thought when I was a kid, but now looking back at it, most of the main characters in kids movies were male. Even the female main characters showed a lack of ability to take care of themselves. This drives the issue of putting social standards on us at such a young age.

    Comment by Matthew Smit — May 10, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  108. From watching Disney movies when I was a child to the R-rated movies I watch this day I have noticed that the content and the messages of the media have remained consistent. The gender roles and expectations for each sex are still highlighted and repeated over and over again whether it be a commercial, tv show, or movie. Women are shown to be striving to be beautiful in order to attract a man or to have a shot at a relationship. If a girl is not attractive she must go through the beautification and makeover process in order to be presentable; only then is she a candidate in the dating and relationship arena. Men, on the other hand, are continuously shown to be tough, rugged, and emotionally reserved craving only sex and in no interest of having a committed relationship. These messages are extremely dangerous not only at young ages but at older ages as well because these patterns over time take effect and mold a specific mindset for members of society who begin to cling to them and believe them and feel shameful if they do not fit into the the rigid constraints of these status quo figures. I have to admit that I have believed these messages especially about being beautiful in order to attract a man because I have been fed these messages over and over again.

    Comment by Melody Sabet — May 10, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  109. Disney’s once clean-cut image has been tarnished over the past decade as the implicit messages and stereotypes inherent in the films have been revealed. I have watched my fair share of Disney movies, and when I say fair share, I mean every single one! At the time, I obviously was not tuned in to the underlying theme of all of the movies. In order to end up with the hero, a woman must be beautiful and submissive. I grew up buying into the notion that looks would guarantee a life free from worries or problems. One day, my prince charming would arrive and whisk me off to a magical land. It goes without saying that I was sadly mistaken.

    Men in Disney films are championed for their dominance, use of violence, and lack of emotion. My favorite Disney film, Beauty and the Beast, illustrates how powerful and imposing one “masculine” man can truly be. Gaston, Belle’s potential suitor, uses his brute force to win the hearts of women and invoke obedience in smaller men. Gaston is a least a head taller than every other man in his town, dons a chiseled chin, and is equipped with muscular arms and a large chest. Physically, he is overbearing and he uses this to his advantage. When Beast refuses to fight him towards the end of the movie, Gaston labels him a coward. This male character also displays little to no emotion, and has no regard for other human beings. He admits Belle’s father to the insane asylum in order to force Belle’s hand in marriage. Gaston shows no mercy, lacks compassion, and is extremely sexist, especially towards Belle. I will forever love this movie, but now I will view it through a more critical lens.

    If I were to have children of my own, I would seriously have to rethink showing them Disney movies. These films ultimately shape what we know and understand about the world, and I do not like the message that Disney is currently advocating. Women are viewed as objects of pleasure and men are depicted as stoic and innately malevolent. Females should be shown following their own pursuits rather than wrapped up in their romantic relationships. Men should be cast in a light that encourages compassion and vulnerability, and frowns upon violence against women. If such changes were implemented, our children would learn to value themselves from an early age, and much less emphasis would be placed upon physical aesthetics and the quest for heterosexual love.

    Comment by Nicole Z. — May 10, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  110. Many movies portray women as subordinate characters, not only Disney movies. Many movies in which women are subordinates, often need saving or many men are trying to win over the love and affection of the woman. Disney creates this illusion that children still follow. Children, to this day, believe that they will not be masculine unless they live according to Disney’s and society’s standards. If boys arent muscular or in shape, often they will not be seen as masculine or manly. Its terrible to witniss this happening at a very young age and its going to keep happening, even to our children, and the sad part is that we are well aware of it.

    Comment by Jason Guanlao — May 11, 2012 @ 2:38 am

  111. We as a society, have been working hard to break down barriers in promoting gender equality. For decades, we have fought for equality among all, and to read about children being targeted with outdated ideology, is extremely problematic. Disney has always been looked at as a great family network and has produced some of the most notable children’s movies. It is surprising, that the basis for many of their movies, is rooted in stereotypical notions of gender roles. The way in which masculinity and femininity are defined, will never be changed if children are being socialized to believe that they should act in ways represented on television. It is hard to think outside of a box when we are constantly reminded about the traditional notions of what it is to be a girl or boy. Children have the most pure outlook on life and it is unfair to target them with media that may stifle their growth. Children should not be led to believe that a girl has to be dainty and a man strong in order to be respected. Being that children are easily influenced, I believe Disney has to take more responsibility in creating movies that are gender neutral.

    Comment by Jasmine M — May 11, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  112. After reading this I realize the effect that the media actually does have on our children. I remember growing up as a kid watching certain cartoons; Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and other similar movies. As a child you don’t realize these stories how showing you gender roles or the effect of gender socialization occurring. In the films the women is seen to be submissive, she is weak, and the story line at the end is that she is rescued by a man. After being rescued by the man, she lives happily ever after. The man is seen to be tough, he sometimes over comes huge obstacles to rescue the women. These are messages that are being sent to children, so even they don’t realize it, it will have an impact on them throughout their lives. They will grow up thinking men are the dominance gender and that they will have control over everything. And young girls will grow to believe that all of their problems will be saved once they find their prince charming. When looking at society the images that we have seen in the media as young children are portrayed into adulthood, the majority tends to follow those gender roles that we have learned as a child. In my opinion it will be hard for these gender roles to demolish. It has been years and hundreds of years of socialization. For some people it is seen as culture. So in most cases, children our shown these images because it is “what I watched as a kid”. As well has children seeing it happen in their household, they will often carry and follow behaviors of their parents, “ I want to be just like mommy when I grow up” or “I want to be just like dad”.

    Comment by Glynda Givens — May 12, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  113. As children most of us grew up on Disney. We watched movies that had beautiful princess and strong/charming princes. This where we learn about self image and how important it is to be beautiful if you’re a girl and strong if you are a boy. The fact that the media has so much to do with self image is pretty upsetting. The media is the one who tells you if you are good enough for today’s society. The messages that Disney instills in children plays out into adult hood because as a kid you see that the strong and charming man always gets the girl. So, men and women are portraying this perfect image as they once saw in the fairy tales.

    Comment by Simara Williams — May 12, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  114. I’d have to say I’m a bit taken back by the fact that all of the movies I grew up watching have been reinforcing stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a man. Interesting that essentially we have just been brain washed from childhood. I always understood that we learn from our parents and our social environment but, I have to say that Disney child cartoons never occurred to me that there could be used as tools of dissemination. I honestly can say I never would have even thought twice about it. But I am aware now of how a little boy could imagine the ideal man from watch these movies or that a girl would imagine being just like the beauties being sought after and rescued. To this day I can see how I still have these ideas lingering around.

    Comment by Albert Q — May 12, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  115. As a diehard Disney fan, I must say it irks me to see Disney being attacked, and its movies cast off as being “discriminatory,” “sexist” or perpetuating ageism, racism, etc. While I am biased, I can admit that this piece does lay out some credible points: some Disney movies can instill violence, some Disney movies stereotype genes roles, some Disney movies can be sexist. But I’d also like to note other movies do this as well. I am not trying to argue against the message this video is sending, or render any of its points invalid. But I would like to point out that all the movies referenced in this film are from the 80s and 90s, and A LOT has changed since then, and Disney, like other film and media franchises has done well in adapting to the change, stepping toward equality and more adequately reflecting current society. Disney has moved past the “messages” that these old films may be sending to children. This can be seen in the more current film the corporation has produces. For example, their newest film Brave, is about a young girl who goes against the society’s (and Disney’s) norms of what is expected from a princess and pursues her own desires (which happen to be archery, hunting, etc.) In an article written for Forbes, contributor Erik Kain writes, “Time and again, the themes in Pixar’s films break old tropes apart. Toy Story was about friendship rather than romantic love; Finding Nemo explored the relationship between father and son; The Incredibles dealt with the sometimes-rocky travails of having a family, and of finding great things even in the mundane; Monsters Inc. was about friendship in the workplace and the fear of the other.” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/03/02/is-pixars-brave-just-another-disney-princess-movie/)
    While these more recent films still may involve underlying scores of princesses yearning for love, masculine men, etc, the main theme, and how that message is presented has changed.

    Comment by Anndrea Anderson — May 13, 2012 @ 2:20 am

  116. I have never realized the cartoons that we watched as children, were teaching us how to be a perfect male or female! After reading this article I can now see the sexism within children movies. Many children movies feature a female character focusing on getting the prince. Many Disney movies display gender stereotype. Unfortunately theses films are targeting young children, which have a huge impact when it comes to gender socialization.

    Comment by Vanessa Ochoa — May 13, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  117. This articles confirms how there is still seperation between boy/girls and women/men. Its sad to see how early this all starts with social media telling girls that they must beautiful to get a boy and that is their goal in life. This creates a really messed up situation becuase it instills these misconscrewed ideas in their heads that we should all be a certain way, and even worse this leads to eating disorders in girls at a very young age for they strive to fulfill this image of beauty. Our kids aren’t even safe from these message because of the MEDIA.

    Comment by VicG — May 13, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  118. I’ve always heard that Disney has sexist or racist tones in their films. I did use to watch a lot of Disney films and never noticed it. After seeing this video I feel as if though some of these things are taken out of context for the sake of saying the films are sexist. For example, Hercules is a demigod and famous for his strength. Gaston, the man in Beauty and the Beast, is portrayed as an unlikeable character and the villan in the film. In Mulan, she is trying to join the army. In the end, the men end up dressing as women. Overall, I’m not really swayed by the video and do not believe Disney is sexist.

    Comment by DannyM — May 13, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

  119. 8. It is known by many people in society that gender socialization has been formed due to its main culprit, media. Why is media such a huge impact on us? It is all around us, we cannot hide or get rid of it. It comes in a variety of forms such as magazines, commercials, TV shows we love to watch, and billboards. Gender socialization is harmful to society and especially the youth because once it is introduced at a young age on what men and women should be like and their gender roles, it continues throughout one’s life course. I enjoyed watching the video clip of various Disney movies that display this gender socialization because I seemed to acknowledge the hidden message behind these movies. The video showed characters such as Gaston from the film, Beauty and the Beast. Gaston was portrayed as a dominant male who knew what he wanted and superior to most people including his peers. His sidekick was short in stature, fat and non attractive. It goes to show that Gaston is an example of being strong and taking things by force is “acceptable” for young men. I am glad that I do realize now what a great impact media has on everyone regardless of age. It is important to be aware at a young age of the harmful affects of gender socialization and media because once one is exposed during childhood, they become accustomed to this false interpretation of the duties of each gender.

    Comment by MaryD — May 13, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  120. The media has a countless amount of functions. One of the biggest ones yet is socialization, more specifically gendered socialization. It can virtually be found anywhere. It infiltrates our TV sets, yes, especially kids shows. Disney is not free of this, either. As stated in this article, males predominantly make up the majority of individuals that are on television, while women make up a smaller percentage. Also, men are shown to be the main supporters, the prince charming, and the irresistible and dominant ones. Women, particularly in Disney movies, are damsels in distress, dependent, and in need to be saved by said men. The problem with this is that it hinders and puts a cap on the possibilities of what a child can become. Gender roles hold people back in the sense that they feel like they are confined or oppressed and forced to stay in compliance with gendered norms in fear of being ridiculed or made fun of. It is important to stay aware and the media is feeding conscious about the things to us because in the long run, it can be hurtful and damaging to individual growth.

    Comment by Soraya L. — May 13, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  121. Its sad that I never noticed the cultivation. I lived off Disney movies. I can’t believe the statics. Cultivation is giving people such a false sense of life. With movies like these, you hope parents instill enough good self-esteem with their own children so, they understand that these movies are just for entertainment and they can be anyone they want.

    Comment by Amber S. — May 13, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  122. It is scary to realize that children are not left out from gender socialization. No wonder this patriarchal mindset is so ingrained in us. We have been taking it in since childhood. Taking in these hidden messages, which are not hidden at all, make us accustomed to false beliefs about gender roles. we believe it is normal. I grew up watching disney movies and still do. I never realized that these cartoons and movies were teaching me how to be a “true woman” and what to look for in a man.

    Comment by yessica pastor — May 13, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

  123. This is very true because when you look at all the disney movies, they always have to make the male a dominant person. I think Disnay does this because we live in a patriotic world. Everything that happens in these movies is true and it shows how simple minded the world is. The movies mirrior the past when it was not common for women to be independent. Every women needs a man, and every man needs a women. It is life.

    Comment by Vincent McGhee — May 13, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  124. Great article. I have seen many Disney films, but this article clearly states some of the underlying issues I never questioned while watching them. It is frustrating to deal with communication between the sexes at times, and it is important to recognize how there have been years of conditioning behavior towards what is “normal.” Women are expected to be attractive, exposed, and waiting for their prince charming. Men must be strong, providing, and not show emotion, because that is weakness. Thanks again for a great article on a subject I wouldn’t have thought about before reading it.

    Comment by JaeYoon Chung — May 20, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  125. It’s amazing that even in today’s society, girls and women are still being unrepresented in movies and the media. As we discussed in class, aspects of the Bechdel Test show a female character’s relevance to the plot, however, this test is not easy to pass. Even to think that Disney movies have such a low percentage of female characters is astonishing considering the amount of young people that watch their movies. As discussed in the blog above, it is equally astonishing to take a hard look at the toys that are being marketed to boys and girls. Girl toys inspire vanity and beauty, however boy toys inspire adventure and risks. To top it all off, it is seen as ‘wrong’ for one gender to enjoy the toys of their opposing gender, as if they are crossing some invisible boundary. Boys are completely and totally negatively sanctioned if they are seen with a ‘girl’s’ toy, and same with and girl with a boy’s toy. However, boys are punished much more severely for playing with a girl’s toy than the opposite. We should be teaching our young children that it is okay to play with any toy they want, despite the negative sanctions received by their peers.

    Comment by Ryan F. — May 29, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  126. This was a very informative article. The clips of Disney films added emphasis to this article. I have seen many Disney films growing up. Disney seems to follow a particular formula in every film, where the female plays the damsel in distress waiting for her prince charming to come and rescue her. These portrayals in Disney films create gender socialization –
    “Patterns of behavior taught to children and adults in order to help them learn to behave as acceptable females or males.” Please parents start parenting your children and stop allowing media to take control!

    Comment by Mary Marrone — May 29, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

  127. I am surprised that I have never noticed the hidden message in all Disney movies. I have seen almost every single one, and still watch them till this day if I see it on TV. We are brought up to think the Disney movies are happy fairytales with appropriate messages sent out to children, but in fact, Disney has been educating kids that all men have to be tall, handsome, and strong and that all women have to be feminine, in search for love, and domestic. Although these characteristics are important for some people, it should not be the essential message being sent to children. I enjoyed reading this message and watching the video clip. I learned something I did not ever notice in Disney films, which play a huge role in every child’s life.

    Comment by Pauline T — May 29, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  128. Girls are constantly being represented in a wrong fashion. In Disney girls are being represented this way and to think how many girls watch these movies at a very young age. Girls from very early on understand that we have to look and act a certain way in order to get men to love and want to be with us. Everyone always thinks Dinsey movies are the best because they aren’t real and they are anamated, however there wrong. It shows us what is actually going on and how women are protrayed usually being helpless. Media has the biggest role in sending these messages subconciously to children. People don’t understand and realize how much media plays in to affect and how much we take in every day.

    Comment by Sarah Vincent — May 29, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

  129. I have seen nearly every Disney movie, know almost every song, and as a little girl wanted to have a happily ever after like the princesses. And know I am shocked to really realize the gender roles and images given to kids at such as young age. And personally, the scariest part is that no one questions them. Women are seen as emotional, weak, pretty,and in desperate need of a strong and dominant man. (ie Beauty and the Beast).

    What is great about this article/video is that it focuses on the male perspective. It is more known of what is expected of women, but this explains that males are expected to be strong, physically fit, and powerful. This viedo calls into question why cant men be viewed as emotional and compassionate. Are these qualities not important? are they not valued? I personally value these qualities more than being a chiseled strong and powerful man.

    Hopefully one day we will have a Disney movie, or any movie, that allows for real emotions and characteristics to be valued.

    Comment by Marissa P — June 24, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  130. I grew up with Disney movies, but I never realize how sexism was input in these films. In other words, I found it extremely normal for guys to be the main center of attention in all movies. Indeed, everything they said in this mini clip it’s correct. These movies even show kids on how they are supposed to be; especially male kids that see these Disney movies. Kids are like sponges, so when seeing movies, they make good observations on how the boys in the movies acted. Therefore, they tend to try to act the same, as the masculine courageous one. Girls, then, see that all they need to do when they grow up is find their prince charming or hero just like in their favorite Disney movie. However,this shouldn’t be the case.

    Comment by Elyzabeth A — June 26, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  131. Wow, after reading and watching the clip makes me realize that this battle to change our society and move away from patriarchy is going to be very difficult to change. It seems a little discouraging that the media is pushing the gender expectations before we can even speak. I know it is very difficult to change people’s mind when everything around us is enforcing from a patriarchy society. Like you said in your blog, all the gender expectations become normal to us because that is all we see. In makes me enraged that it seems that we don’t have a fighting chance to change it. We need to figure out a way to change the way the media works and change the gender norms to equality into the media . Make people look in the mirror and challenge their way of thinking.

    Comment by Amanda A. — June 30, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  132. Unfortunately, this just further proves HOW MUCH influence our society has on us, without us even noticing most of the time. The fact that a company such as disney which we all watched when we were growing up, and we look at as a good and family based corporation, has underling sexism saddens me, as well as scares me. Changes within the movie industry and other media based companies are important and imperative to our society because of how much they influence SO many people!

    Comment by Dylan B — July 2, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

  133. Most of the Disney cartoon movies are sexist like Snow White to Aladdin each of them have a gender role to fill and children do watch this. Like i ve seen all the Disney movies when i was a kid and i do like The Lion King and Aladdin they ‘re my favorite cartoon movies. The Creators do set an example for kids in a gender socialization but i think it does nt effect the kids to much they mostly watch it for fun. But i think it will be nice if a female had the main role and made the cartoon about adventures and life so kids can see females can also live and be equal to a male to but it shows its all gender socialization business even in kids movies. They also did a movie about rodents traveling the world it wasn t to gender socialize.

    Comment by Yanira S — July 4, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  134. Wow! I was surprised when I saw this. Growing up, I always had the image that Disney movies were pure, genuine, and had a realistic idea of how the world really was (aside from the fictional characters). However after watching this video, I was surprised to see that there were stereotypes involved in this film. For example, the idea that characters who are fat are portrayed as side characters that don’t play an important role or they are perceived as a nuisance. One aspect that I felt was unfair were how much Disney movies have changed. In May 2009, Disney Pixar released their new animation titled “Up,” which featured an old, short, grumpy man making his voyage to a lost island. Although Disney has made it’s mistakes in the 1990′s, I felt that it would be fair for how they are currently producing movies.

    Comment by Alexander K (Wom.10 Scholars) — September 8, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  135. Wow! I was surprised when I saw this. Growing up, I always had the image that Disney movies were pure, genuine, and had a realistic idea of how the world really was (aside from the fictional characters). However after watching this video, I was surprised to see that there were stereotypes involved in this film. For example, the idea that characters who are fat are portrayed as side characters that don’t play an important role or they are perceived as a nuisance. One aspect that I felt was unfair were how much Disney movies have changed. In May 2009, Disney Pixar released their new animation titled “Up,” which featured an old, short, grumpy man making his voyage to a lost island. Although Disney has made it’s mistakes in the 1990′s, I felt that it would be fair for how they are currently producing movies.

    Comment by Alexander K (Wom.10 Scholars) — September 8, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  136. I think that this article points out some interesting themes about gender stereotypes that are given to children. I think that the reason these stereotypes stay in the media is because the media is out to make money. They have formulas that they know work for producing entertainment to make money. I think that it will be tough to get them to take the risk to change.

    It is up to the parents, and also teachers to educate children about what is real and what is fake in movies and television. Parents have to stop letting TV and movies raise their children for them. Until the children grow up, the parents have the responsibility to watch over them.

    If parents want to change things then they can do two things to help break the cycle. First, they can always point out to their children that girls don’t need to look like princesses, and that violence is not something to glorify. Second, they can vote with their wallets and only pay for movies and TV that do not support stereotypes.

    Comment by Yiyen H — September 21, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  137. It is sad to see something that is supposed to be as innocent as Disney portray so many hidden messages through its films. Disney is one of the most influential companies out there geared toward children, so with that they should not be exploiting kids so early on to gender stereotypes. Instead, they should demonstrate that there is not a certain “way” you need to behave depending on gender. Girls do not have to be weak and defenseless to gain the attention of a “prince charming.” And males do not have to be strong, tough and powerful to gain the attention of a beautiful girl. These messages sent out through the media are especially dangerous because most of the time, they go unnoticed by parents and other adult figures. But the effects of them are indeed demonstrated in the long run. Children grow up with these ideas and concepts of what it is to be socially acceptable and how it is that they are supposed to behave.

    Comment by Nadia A — October 3, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  138. I completely agree with this video. While at first glance Disney movies may be very interesting and contain a positive message, in fact, contain many negative messages enforcing patriarchy. They try and place women in a lesser important role, only being used for their looks. Afterwards, they try and establish what masculinity should be, strength, violence and success. These stereotypes are only enforcing the system of patriarchy we live in today. By having these types of movies in our mainstream media, we are only telling young boys and girls that these stereotypes are expected of them and that they should feel inadequate if they fail to live up to that stereotype. Until we can infuse masculinity with compassion and caring with the help of the media, males and females will continue to feel inadequate.

    Comment by Nathan R — October 3, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  139. I have watched at least over fifty Disney Channel movies growing up. I remember each year for Halloween I wanted to dress up as a princess. Now that I look back on it, I ask myself, “What was I thinking?” I believe that Disney Channel is trying to teach children the right message, but they are also appealing to what society thinks portrays as correct. Disney is very influential and can break down these stereotypes by not feeding into the norm, but it doesn’t. Why should one gender act one way and the other gender act another way? We are oppressing society and how people want to express themselves. We are limiting each gender to certain qualities. Who said both males and females can’t act the same? As a child I died to be a princess, but now I don’t even want to associate myself with that term. By these definitions that society has places, I fit into neither category. These messages are dangerous for our children growing up, especially the hidden messages.

    Comment by Dorsa D — October 11, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  140. This further emphasizes the importance of higher quality of education on gender and also, evaluating gender perceptions and roles. To simply reject the stereotypical depiction of each character as being sexist is not conducive to an equal society. Prevention begins with awareness of what needs to be changed. To be male or female or in between is not simply the rejection and overturning of current traditional patriarchal roles aimed at both male and female. It is embracing these roles as one form of natural human expression that should not be determined, expected or limited based from the sex. We need to teach children from a young age that there are more than few ways to be a person and that there is not “ideal” type. I wonder how the paradigm shift would overturn our current assumptions. How would we describe characteristics and view people if we do not label them with masculine or feminine? I  look forward to seeing change away from being stuck in our traditional mold. And finally, we should all learn and practice aware consuming–so that we can recognize these sexist values being projected at us. What you do with this is personal choice but hopefully it is conducive to changing personal biases against the inherent injustice we were socialized into.

    Comment by Sharon K. — October 18, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  141. That gender identity is influenced by socialization is not news. Nevertheless, the insidiousness of some of the seemingly innocent media materials aimed at children is almost horrifying. Not only are patricarcal values reinforced, but few positive values of inner worth are demonstrated. Even for childrens consumption, this is fairly vapid stuff.

    Comment by MansourR — October 25, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  142. This articles just confirms how there is still such a big seperation between boy & girls and women & men. It is also extremely sad to see how early this all starts with the media telling girls that they must beautiful to get a boy and that is their goal in life. This creates a really messed up situation becuase it instills these horribly ideas in our heads that we should all be a certain way, and even worse this leads to eating disorders in girls at a very young age for they strive to fulfill this image of beauty. Our kids aren’t even safe from these message and that is sad and unmfortunate.

    Comment by PanteaP — October 27, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  143. This articles just confirms how there is still such a big seperation between boy & girls and women & men. It is also extremely sad to see how early this all starts with the media telling girls that they must beautiful to get a boy and that is their goal in life. This creates a really messed up situation becuase it instills these horribly ideas in our heads that we should all be a certain way, and even worse this leads to eating disorders in girls at a very young age for they strive to fulfill this image of beauty. Our kids aren’t even safe from these message and that is sad and unfortunate.

    Comment by PanteaP — October 27, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  144. I was born into a room covered in pink, with pink sheets, clothes, and teddy bears. As I got a little older I played with toys that were associated with child rearing, beautification, cooking, and even cleaning. I got a little older and became with obsessed with Disney princesses all whom had incomplete lives until they met their macho hero who saved them. Today, advertisers, magazines, and the overall mass media and popular culture market have all marketed products or lifestyles with themes that include, again, child rearing, beautification, cooking, cleaning, and losing weight. In other words, I’ve been exposed to gender socialization from birth to this day. I’ve been fed a constant stream of images that have taught me what a women is and how a women should act a.k.a. my popular culture has cultivated social constructs within me that are now, and maybe forever, ingrained into my head.

    Cinderella taught me that I need to turn into a beautiful princess in order for a man to notice me! Help!
    Princess Jasmine taught me to be adventurous and have aspirations, but that I still need a man and a size 00 waist! Help!
    The Little Mermaid taught me that I need to sell my soul to Evil Ursula just so I can turn into a human to be with the man of my dreams! Help!

    Comment by Jasmine F — November 4, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  145. As I always knew that the media as well as television programs and films play a huge role in shaping people behavior in society as a whole, starting from an extremely young age. I never knew how potent and clear the messages were in these films as I as a child watched these films as well and am a bit aggravating i was subject to these influences I feel it is unacceptable to have messages of sexism, strength and dominance being taught to children through socialization as masculinity and those who don’t have these characteristics are unworthy of being a real man.

    Comment by Daniel S — November 9, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  146. You don’t realize what an impact a movie has on you when you are little and how they can shape your personality and life. I can see know that these Disney movies which I love so much have made me feel worthless or not strong. They show young woman that you have to be beautiful for a man to be interested and that a man will always save you. They never showed me how to be independent and strong on my own and thats probably why I always want to be saved by a man and not save myself. I also saw my brother struggle because he loved the “girl songs” in Disney movies and that made him weak and not a man in older mens eyes. That later in life made him want to show his masculinity more and exaggerate it. The idea that these movies make kids act the way their gender is suppose to is ridiculous and we should start to show that characteristics like sentimental and loving are valued and we can changes kids lives.

    Comment by Lucy M — November 12, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  147. I found this article to be very interesting. I have not noticed, until now, that the media forces such qualities to men and women at such a young age. When children watch these cartoons and movies, they do not think about the messages that are being protrayed. All they thin about is “Oh, that was a funny line”, or “Oh, that was a sad moment”. The images are emebedded into the children’s minds subconsciously, which makes it hard for them to steer away from it.

    Comment by Tiffany N. — November 19, 2012 @ 11:59 am

  148. Being raised watching Disney channel, and Disney movies, it is evident that the males are mainly the mass of the characters on what we see on television. I remember growing up that males were mainly the prince charming or the good looking ones. Women on the other hand are always the dependent ones, needy, and always being saved by men. As a child myself, and especially a girl, this completely makes me feel like I am restricted from what I can be. This is clear with how the media portrays all genders. The fact that gender plays a huge role on media makes us define our gender the way the media defines it. Gender roles hold people back, restrain us, and are required to fulfill the gender norms. If we don’t, we will be made fun of for it, or judged. We must keep a close eye on what the media puts into our heads about the way males and females should be, because if we don’t we are only hurting ourselves.

    Comment by Yael K — November 20, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  149. There is a lot of truth in this article, the images we see in the movies or on television actually do affect us and contribute to the way we perceive the world and what we think of each genders roles to be in it. I personally didn’t pay much attention to the movies I watched as a child, although I did enjoy them very much. But now I’ve come to think about it and I believe that they have in a way influenced the way I see the world today and gave me an unrealistic idea of what my role in society is. The subliminal messages portrayed in children’s movies can unconsciously shape the way children think, especially because at such a young age they are so impressionable. Therefore in discussions of gender and the media I think that by Disney movies enforcing these kinds of gender stereotypes, they are actually sending children the wrong message.

    Comment by Natalie A — November 30, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  150. Growing up, just like all the other kids, i was a fan of disney movies. I dreamed of finding my prince charming. Because of the way disney movies, i had already figured out what i wanted in a man. I was closed minded and didn’t realize there were all types of guys out there. I also though my job was suppose to take care of all the domestic duties and leave the dirty work for my husband. I didn’t change my way of thinking until i saw Mulan. This movie changed my mind all the way around. Mulan taught me to believe that women are dominant figures and can due anything that a guy can do. We can pick who we want to love and even any occupation that deals with physical insurance. The movie shows self power and raises many women’s confidence.

    Comment by CourtyanaF — December 3, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  151. Gender socialization has been a great interest for me these couples of past years. It’s been captivating for me because my first brother who is younger than me is growing into his teen years. My older sisters and I question his motives from time to time. We tell him that he doesn’t necessarily have to be that “macho hombre” (strong man) in our household. As his older sisters we try to tell him that caring about someone or something isn’t a sign of weakness. Yet, we find us reminding him daily about his actions towards us or his friends. This gender socialization is well beyond our power since the media has taken a hold of it; insisting that there is a “natural difference of gender” called essentialism. Even though we have this daily reminder in the media we are able to “slay this beast called media” because my brother has slowly made progress in treating others and himself better when it comes to caring, having his feelings heard. He tries to not oppressed his feelings as this culture has taught him to do. Being his sister makes me want to do more for him have him live life as he pleases and wishes not as some robot that society has created – that is monotone when it comes to emotions.

    Comment by ElizabethR — December 3, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  152. I grew up watching Disney Channel, and Disney movies as a kid but i never realized how sexism is input in the films until watching this video now. For example, in “Emperors New Groove”, he told each girl their flaw and it proved to me how that Disney shows that men are more dominant. Boys grew up watching Disney felt superior. These are the kinds of movies that our children and younger children grow up and get their mindful information. Their mind is like a sponge, they absorb everything and believe its true.

    Comment by Kevin Y — December 3, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  153. I believe that cultivation has a lot to do with the socialization process of children. Children’s brains are like sponges, they absorb information and act upon it. Disney movies are just a minor example to how the media enforces the way girls and boys should appear and behave. Sadly, many children follow the unrealistic idea that you need to look a certain way and act a certain way to have a life equivalent to that of a disney character. The media generally keeps the viewer in a daze and sets unrealistic expectations that most probably can never be achieved.

    Comment by BrittanyP — December 3, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

  154. After I read this article and saw the video it was shocking to know that Disney movies that is watch by practically every child in the world have these hidden messages in them. When I was growing up, most of the movies I saw as a child were Disney movies especially the princess movies just like the movies my younger siblings see today. Its sad knowing women are “encourage to focus on beauty and relationships” and men are “encourage to be tough, adventurous and independent” at a really young age. Since this messages are integrated into our brains at a young age they seem normal to us I know because that’s what I thought for a long time. I learned that the reason I always find something wrong with my physical appearance today is because movies like Disney movies send young girls the message that they have to look like the princess in the movie to be consider beautiful and end up with prince charming. The same applies to young boys because the get the message that they have to buff and be brave to be consider a men. This is all because of cultivation, which create the statues quo image that everyone try to achieve to but can never obtain.

    Comment by Gisela D — December 4, 2012 @ 12:05 am

  155. So far, my FAVORITE FAVORITE article because it combined two of my favorite topics. Gender and media, and it focused on Disney films, being a movie fanatic, I love anything to do with movies and I grew up with Disney, so I love Disney. However, as I was watching the video I realized how much Disney has gender roles and sterotypes something that I didn’t see as a child. “It is not the introduction of one image or message that causes a change in one’s attitude of one’s self… it is the repetitive and continuous stream of images that consistently reinforce the same values and norms…” Like I stated before I grew up watching Disney films, but I didn’t realize that all the women are the same and that all the men are the same. Other than Mulan, all the princesses are damsels in distress and all the men are these hot, buff, bruting heroes. “Girls/women are encouraged to focus on beauty and relationships with men…boys/men are encouraged to be tough, adventurous and independent.” There are so many example I can use but I’ll use one example for both. In the movie Aladdin you see princess Jasmin primping and I feel like she does nothing as her role as princess except just play with her pet Tiger. And for boys in the movie Hercules, he’s trained to become a bigger better Hercules, bigger and better I mean in muscle tone.

    Comment by Mita S. — December 4, 2012 @ 1:55 am

  156. It’s so true how movies have the same idea for women and men. In movies as a child I remember all the guys were big, strong and brave. When it came to women they were all the most amazing looking women. The guy from beauty and the beast Gaston is a perfect example. Almost all the girls love him for his muscles and such. And in Milan even though it’s a women based movie, it shows how women weren’t aloud in the army and how all the training was manly, and it takes you to be a “tom boy” to do it. Movies now aren’t that different, it’s just the way media is. They do what they can to get viewers, and people now just love muscles, abs and good looks. People need to change before the media does.

    Comment by Sean A. — December 4, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  157. I agree with the fifth paragraph, Disney Movies does make each girl beautiful to the guy in the movie. The males are tough and strong in every movie. I see it as they always have a role to play in each Disney Movie. It is how society sees every sex as girls being more girly than guys and guys being tough and Independent. All the boys and girls in a younger age watch all of these Disney Movies thinking it isn’t okay for a guy to be girly because of those specific movies, and not okay for a girl to be independent.

    Comment by InokeT — December 5, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  158. I love how disney movies are brought into attention because I obviously did not focus nor probably know what feminism or sexism was while i was a child watching and admiring these movies. There is no denying that I, as well as probably every single young girl out there, would do nothing but imagine their prince charming coming along, saving them, and living an amazing happily ever after. Subconsciously it does have a HUGE effect on what girls morals, beliefs, and expectations are as they become an adult looking for love. They need someone who is pure perfection that has the ability to save them from whatever suffrage they are going through in their lives, when truth of the matter is nobody should rely on anyone to do that except for themselves.

    Comment by Segal M. — December 5, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  159. We start teaching little girls to love and look for love but we teach the other half of the population to be macho & tough. We tell little girls that they need to be pretty to be able to be in a relationship. They portray girls as naive because its always the prince charming that come and rescues them. So this gives them the message that they’re incapable of taking care of themselves.

    Comment by Nazli C — December 5, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  160. It’s so weird to me that I’ve noticed anything negative about this Disney movies before but now I will have a completely different view when I do watch any Disney film. It’s so true that men/boys are encouraged to be the “hero” of the story while women/girls are portrayed as “trophies.” I wish the media acknowledged what they were doing and strove for something different, a story line that involved less stereotyping of a particular sex and a more realistic, optimistic view of what women are capable of. In Mulan for example, why should it matter if she was female or not? She was obviously just as capable as the men but couldn’t be respected if her real identity was revealed.

    Comment by Anhjia L — December 6, 2012 @ 1:21 am

  161. I absolutely agree with the articles poignant analysis on disney’s undertones regarding masculinity and femininity. As I was reading this I raked my brain for a counterexample to attempt to defend the honor of my childhood influencer yet I really couldn’t. The closest example I could conjure that defied the masculine norm was treasure planet with joseph gordon-levitt’s portrayal as an angst-ridden teenager with frequent run-ins with police officers and authoritative figures, It’s only when he risks his life to attempt to find purpose that he really understands his calling. But of course the “final fight” ends with jgl on top with a higher status and successfully achieving his transformation as a man. Ultimately I think the issue is how do avoid affirming the negative preconceived notions towards masculinity and femininity to avoid further media cultivation.

    Comment by Hasunk — December 6, 2012 @ 1:49 am

  162. Of course I’ve watched all the Disney Movies and several times as a kid and even into my teen years. As a child I didn’t think about how all the movies contributed to gender socialization and how all the movies also contribute to cultivation. Yet, as I grew older and the topic of Disney movies were talked about in my classes I can definitely see how each Disney movie has to do with heterosexual characters, the men are tough and strong, and the women are all pretty. Not only does Disney movies brainwash girls they brainwash guys too at a young age that they need to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted and attract girls. Also, all Disney movies “subconsciously” makes girls look for love based on these fictional stories due to what they viewed as little girls such as Cinderella and her Prince Charming when in reality it’s not like that at all. I think that Disney Movies or children’s movies should be based on a male or female being independent and not always needing a “prince charming” to help them in tough situations because in today’s society many women are fighting their own battles and are even becoming independent financially to be able to stand on their own two feet no matter if their married, living with someone, or single.

    Comment by Shannon Ha — January 21, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

  163. Males are taught to act a certain way and females are taught to act a certain way in our society. There are expectations expected from males and females and those expectations are set up from a very young age through gender socialization. It is the system that allows and somewhat even enforces such a process. The few, now becoming many, who do not successfully abide by that process go through hardships throughout life as they are deemed abnormal. This is very unfortunate as it’s just a flaw with the system itself which does not look too amendable. Maybe even though it’s sad and unfair, going along with that gender socialization and successfully adapting to it is the best possible choice to live on in this society.

    Comment by Jun L. — January 23, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  164. This article confirmed the same views i had about gender socialization in the media. The fact that only seven out of the 101 movies analyzed were considered to be gender balanced shows how women are devalued in our patriarchal system. This also shows that most of these movies analyzed didn’t pass the Bechtel test. The media is one of the biggest contributors to gender socialization. Gender socialization is defined as the process of learning the culture expectations of what is appropriate for male and female behaviors. We are bombarded with the media and its advertisements so that in result the media ultimately shapes our expectations.The process of cultivation creates the values and norms of gender in our lives. This is obviously wrong because the media creates the norms, instead of us people creating the norms which are a lot more realistic.A personal example would be that men are supposed to be tough and muscular. If men do not fit in this norm, then they have to face negative sanctions.

    Comment by Michael Z — January 25, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  165. After watching countless Disney movies as a child, I never realized how sexist these movies actually are. The representation of a heterosexual, strong, heroic man is shown in almost all Disney movies. Along with this muscular man, a beautiful “Disney princess” is shown in the movie as a vulnerable woman awaiting her savior, or “prince charming”. These films socialize both boys and girls at an extremely young age. Because of these films, boys are taught that in order to be desired by women, they must be masculine, strong and heroic. On the other hand, girls are taught they must always look beautiful as they wait for their hero, or “prince charming” to sweep them off their feet. However, I believe that Disney movies should begin making movies that tell stories about independence rather than a muscular man fighting for his “princess”, or a beautiful girl waiting for her “prince charming”. I blame Disney movies as part of the reason why our culture is so fixated on gender socialization. Adults who watched Disney movies during their childhood subconsciously act the part of “prince charming” and Cinderella in their relationships.

    Comment by Shannon He — January 30, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  166. I never actually noticed how the media aimed at children is so similar to the media aimed at adults. Both fill gender roles with masculine male leads and feminine females in need of a “prince charming” of sorts. Even Disney has done this with almost all of there movies having a princess that needs rescuing. The only movie that I can think of that doesn’t do this is Brave. While I have not watched it yet from the trailers I can assumer that it’s just a coming of age film for the lead princess. When gender socialization starts at such an early age, its no surprise that people expect “prince charmings” and “damsels in distress”.

    Comment by Alireza D. — February 3, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  167. Cultivation is the name of the game, telling girls and boys who they have been in society in order to be accepted, loved and successful. They start young and continue all the way through adult life. It is no wonder we keep seeing women and girls in the mass reproduction of what they see on TV. “They wanna be what they see in the cinema” and trust me it works both way for boys and girls. Growing up, I wanted to look like Barbie and often questioned my mother as to why my hair wasn’t straight and blond. In the rare instances, when I saw black women on T.V that I could admire they were successful and rocking the weaves and the press and curls like white women with straight hair. I was socialized to believe that straight hair meant to put together, accomplished, dignified, intelligent, everything I wanted to be. On the contrary, when black women with natural hair that looked my mine before the products and flat irons were ignorant, poor, uneducated and the laughingstock. I was cultivated and socialized to believe that natural was ugly and that I need to be extremely removed for even wanting to wear my natural, essentially being forced into weaves and press and curls so that I would fit in.

    Comment by Jewel B — February 4, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  168. This notion of cultivation that has known it’s apogee in today’s society is the reason why the awfulness of serious issues such as rape and violence is reduced. We are seeing images of women being sexually molested,raped, violated, only serving as sex objects in every possible source of media. From advertisements on the street, on television, in magazines till the music video clips of famous singers. We are witnessing that the repetitive image of anything only pushes us to accept it inherently no matter how violent or awful it is.

    Comment by Mariya A — February 5, 2013 @ 12:05 am

  169. After reading this article, it is true that the images portrayed in television and movies do affect human beings. As a child, I did grow up watching Disney movies all day and all night, and must I say that it has influenced the way that I see the world today. These movies show young children how unrealistic this world really is, however they do not know of this until they reach a mature age to realize it. For the most part, Disney movies do send children a horrible message. For example, in many movies a girls favorite color is pink, and women are shown as a thin young lady with a very pretty face. On the other hand, young men are depicted as muscular, and always having a powerful roll. Gender identity is in fact influenced by socialization, and definitely patriarchy. Disney movies are sending children the wrong messages, and making them think at an early age about what their physical features and etc. must be.

    Comment by Yasmin F — February 5, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

  170. I find it funny how though out my childhood, I practically lived on Disney Channel movies. Little was I aware of at the time that all of these movies were unconsciously sending me as well as the millions of other kids around the world who watched these movies what the ‘true’ definition of a man and woman are. This article was very eye opening because for the first time ever, I actually sat down and went through all of the movies mentally which I had watched as a child and it is true; as a male, these movies were pretty much teaching me what the expectations of a male are in society. He must be strong and muscular and must be able to go and save his princess with an ending which always ended happily ever after. I blame these movies for setting such unrealistic expectations for kids, having them think that they must do everything these characters do in order to be deemed a ‘real’ man or woman.

    Comment by Jonathan M — February 5, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

  171. From an adolescent age, he show images and imply ideas into the minds of our youth to act, look and behave in a certain way. Because of the immaturity and vulnerability, the young minds of our society believe they have to be a certain way. Due to the fact that it is so persistent throughout the entire lives of these children, they believe that this is what’s right and they pursue that idea. We see and hear them everywhere, especially in media such as on TV, radio, billboards, magazines, music and music videos, and even books. These influences make boys think that need to be masculine, strong, taking charge, build things, and overall, “macho”. For girls, on the other hand, they are inclined to believe that they must maintain their femininity, look sexy with “hot” sexual features, keep a running home by cooking and cleaning and so on. If anyone falls out of these norms, they are looked down upon and essentially shunned from society.

    Comment by Arash R — February 5, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

  172. As i grew up in Los Angeles, i would always watch the Disney channel and Disney movies. At first i would never realize all the sexism and patriarchy involved in these films but after i saw some over i realized what this article was trying to point out and its very sad to see that. Again, these male centered movies are all dominant due to the media portraying men as tough, strong, and etc. If it weren’t for them we would be living normal lives without anyone telling us what we should look like and what we should not look like.

    Comment by Jonathan Y — February 14, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

  173. The conformity that these films present depicts men as seven feet tall Adonises who overpower five feet tall frail women, while at the same time disregarding “men” who do not fit the stereotypical role of the traditional hero. These films reinforce the ethos of a society which constantly allows the domination of one gender over another by cultivating and socializing children to fit the form of their gender roles. Some comments above state that these Disney Films are at the heart of this problem and yet, this domination over genders has taken place prior to the concept of these films. It is not correct to place all the blame on these films for they do not spawn this oppression however, these films do reinforce the process. By that logic these films mirror societal “standards” of strength and weakness as well as “honor” and “respect.” These skewered ideas of honor and respect that are portrayed in these films are at the heart of the problem that allows for the strong to dominate the weak, as if it is the strong people’s “duty” to “protect” the weaker masses. This train of thought was at the forefront for the justification of slavery, as it was the white man’s “duty” and “responsibility” to protect others. These days this justification is aimed towards male domination over any and all who are considered anatomically weaker and thus need “saving.”

    Comment by Darien a. — March 2, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  174. I think videos such as these not only highlight the sexism inherent in media all the way down to children’s movies, but it also shows that men and young boys are affected by the hegemonic masculinity in media also. These strict gender guidlines which men must follow are shown even as children, and boys grow up learning to be dominant over women, heterosexual, manly, successful, and always get the girl. They are taught that anything other than this is laughable and opens them up for criticism and threats. They are not “real” men, just subordinates and losers.
    Women, even as the protagonist in movies, are shown to be in need of saving and although the story centers on their struggle and journey, they always end up in the arms of a man (who, of course, abides by hegemonic masculinity). While these movies may not be the cause of gender socialization, they reinforce and strictly abide by one-dimensional notions of masculinity and femininity, creating a never-ending cycle. And we aren’t even looking at live action movies, where depiction of women is incredibly small and female stories are always ignored. One can only hope that it gets better with time.

    Comment by Chan — April 4, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  175. [...] movies were nearly gender-balanced, meaning that most of the movies’ main characters were males (http://www.feministfatale.com/2008/10/gender-socialization-in-the-media-from-childhood-to-adulthood/). Many girl/women characters in children’s movies exhibit stereotypical female traits, such as [...]

    Pingback by Female Socialization | Skinny Love — April 11, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

  176. Growing up I have always realized that most Disney movies were all about gender, race, and sex. In one movie, The Lion King, I even noticed that it was anti-Nazi at one point. Most children’s movies want to attract kids and present ideas to them in a way that is not noticed by most kids or even adults. Such underlying messages may have profound effects on children and on their development into adults.

    Comment by Sam F — April 29, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  177. My childhood revolved around watching disney movies, i had never given the idea of sexism, strength and dominance in these films much thought. After all i was a kid but this shows how these ideas of how “real men” should interact with women and how they should use them as objects of pleasure are imbedded in us at a young age. When ideas of the ideal body type and stereotypes are seen movie after movie it becomes apparent that these are the norms. After seeing several of these disney films at a young age, kids especially boys look up to these male dominant characters as role models. They begin to want to become these characters which eventually takes a direct effect on society.

    Comment by Solo K — May 7, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

  178. It is almost insane that we are in the 21st century and have progressed so much since the dawn of time, yet so many components of our society remain backwards. To say that a man and a women are not bother equally important, respected, and viewed is one of the sad truths that still lingers in our world. Men and women are held to such different standards and norms. As a female, this bothers me. It bothers me that I will do the same job as a man, but be payed less. It bothers me that I have such a pressure to look and act ‘beautiful’ in order to even get the attention of a guy. It bothers me that a man can have the power of intelligence, adventure, and curiosity but women are bond to a one dimensional world of beauty, fashion, glamor and domesticity.

    Comment by Rita C — May 9, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

  179. The media only glorifies sex, dominance, masculinity and strength. Disney movies dwell on the image of masculinity and only one body type. If the media were to glorify sensitivity, respect, and gentleness, young boys would grow up knowing that these are the values they should aim to achieve; rather than dominance and aggression. By moving outside of stereotypes and instead embracing caring, and compassion as masculinity, young boys will learn to not only see women as their equal but it will create a more balanced environment between men and women. It is extremely sad to see all these movies, which portray women as subordinate to men. Young children watch these movies numerous times and look up to these characters as an inspiration of how to behave. These Disney movies are creating a norm of how boys and men are to behave. Not only so these movies glorify strength, but also they degrade men who are weak and women who are not flawless and beautiful. These false ‘norms’ cause a decrease in self-esteem. Both males and females lose confidence when they see these figures on television, and realize that they cannot look the way these characters these characters are presented as.

    Comment by Jacqueline A. — May 21, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  180. I did not notice how powerful the media was until I started to notice how much my behavior and thoughts were influenced by what I saw on T.V. During my childhood I was mediated to believe that beauty is the #1 measure of my value and self-esteem. Growing up, I suffered with low-self esteem and an eating disorder, which is just two of the ways the media can affect a person’s physical and mental health. Girls and women today feel so much pressure to meet the ideals of beauty that it leads to depression and shame. Trying to fit the ideals is extremely difficult because images advertised are unrealistic and have been altered and photo-shopped to make the model look perfect. Geena Davis’ effort to advocate for the analysis of media images contributes to media literacy. Media literacy is an educational movement that began in the early 80’s that focuses on creating critical consumers of media who have the ability to deconstruct and understand it. David stresses the importance of analyzing media images so that individuals can understand how they are affected by it. They can learn how children are socialized by the media to adopt unrealistic beauty standards. They can understand that beauty is not the sole value of a woman’s worth.

    Comment by GabbyT — May 22, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  181. Gender Socialization in the Media from Childhood to Adulthood.
    I can definitely relate to this article because we, as children, are so blind to these messages that are being conveyed in Disney movies. We don’t know any better so we watch them because they make us laugh and are entertaining, but we do not look beyond what is right in front of our eyes. I always thought of Cinderella as a love story but little did I know, there was gender socialization throughout the film. For example, when Cinderella has to finish her chores before she is allowed to go to the ball, Disney is portraying her character as nurturing and “motherly”. Children are the targets of most advertisements because they are young and vulnerable. Disney targets these children and manipulates them into believing that every girl should be a princess and every boy should be a price. This meaning that women should be beautiful and men should be charming and masculine. If children did not watch these films, they would have less of an influence on their gender roles. For example, if a child watches a violent film and then performs these violent actions, is the media to blame for that? Is Disney any worse than all of the other shows and movies streamed? I think that Disney is a large contribution for gender socialization but the bigger picture is that it is inevitable to avoid gender socialization because it is incorporated everywhere.

    Comment by Danielle B. — May 24, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  182. When I was a child I was hooked on Disney movies and shows. In fact, I watched many of the same movies multiple times. Furthermore, I sometimes sang along with the characters. I was not aware of the gender socialization in the productions, since I was a child. This article/clip effectively informed me of what I viewed during my childhood. I am angered that, in a way, I was brainwashed. I believe these type of movies have negative consequences on people. For example, some men work out obsessively in order to become muscular. This is known as muscle dysmorphia and it is unhealthy. Children are not media literate. As a result, they are passive pawns of the media. I feel that the government should regulate the content that is shown to children. This video opened my eyes allowing me to deconstruct and analyze media content. Today, I feel I am a more conscious consumer of the media.

    Comment by Bryan K — May 25, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  183. These Disney movies definitely have an affect on kids whether they realize it or not. If their parents do not talk to them about the roles of men and women, then they will obviously just learn off of what they see through the media. I don’t remember ever watching a Disney movie where the girl would be the savior. It always has this revolving theme where the girl needs saving and the man will be the one to save her. This sends out such a horrible message to young girls. Girls should be taught to be independent, and they should not look for a savior to “complete” them. Also, it gives them the idea that they have to have a certain beauty standard for the guy to like them in the first place. Even the girl cartoons are so perfect and have features that resemble the models today that society tries so hard to achieve but it is impossible.

    Comment by Ashley K. — May 27, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

  184. Wow this was really eye opening. I grew up watching a lot of G-rated movies and of course, because I was surrounded by those images, was oblivious to how androcentric these movies were. What’s scary to me is knowing now how all those Disney movies I watched were shaping my ideas about men and women and my role in society. Children’s movies need to be held to a higher standard because of the enormous power they have over children. I am really thankful for Geena Davis and the work she is doing to protect children from this unhealthy socialization. This article just shows how crucial it is for everyone to be media literate, to be able to actively criticize and analyze the images we are bombarded with so that we will not be so impacted and shaped by them. The power of the mass media makes it improbable that it will become gender-balanced overnight, but the best thing we as consumers can do is to become better-educated about the effects of the media.

    Comment by Bryan S — May 27, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  185. After analyzing Geena Davis’ results from the observation pertaining to the portrayals of gender in media directed at children; it is clearly evident that television media is biased towards males, while only screening a female character 17 percent of the time. I found these results to be “mind-boggling”. Upon first glimpse I never thought the media portrayed such an andocentric view, but thanks to Davis’ research the statistics show us that this is a definite concern and should be mended immediately. Women account for roughly 53 percent of the world’s population; meaning that a little more than half of the moviegoers are female. If only the media were to focus on establishing a strong female role, they would lure it a whole lot more money.

    Comment by Eli-Ran Y — May 28, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  186. ddd

    Comment by d — May 29, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

  187. It’s upsetting to hear those statistics about G-rated movies, but I’m not all that surprised about them. With all the gender socialization that went on and gained steam during the second half of the 20th century in American society, it’s not surprising it found it’s way into children’s movies. Disney/Pixar’s “Brave” was a nice change of what typical gender roles are, but even Disney screwed that up when recently they “redesigned” the lead princess character of Merida to make her look more glamoured up — directly contrasting the whole basis of the character to begin with.

    Comment by Cristine B — May 29, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

  188. “They are repeatedly told early on that girls/women must be beautiful in order to be validated in order to be considered worthy of a relationship.”

    At the age of 29, this is a struggle that I find myself constantly battling in my mind, to the point that I have considered specialized therapy to effectively combat how truly pervasive this ideology had become to me to the point of indoctrination. As a little girl, I watched a lot of Disney films with the flu like any other child, but I never stopped to consider what it was that I was indirectly being told about what it meant to be a woman in adulthood. I wonder now, as a grown woman dealing with crippling low self-esteem, if there could be a way to quantifiably correlate these films as the genesis to my truly distorted representation of worth. As I grew up and revisited the films with nostalgia, the messages only became more complicated as now I saw Belle as not only beautiful, but brilliant, Jasmine as philanthropic, Jane as adventurous, Ariel as talented…all coupled with extraordinary beauty. It was no longer enough to be beautiful…now you had to be BEAUTIFUL, prerequisite, plus x, y, and z. I can only hope for a day where the message will be “you, as you are, are enough.”

    Comment by SarahC — July 24, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

  189. I feel like every Disney movie has a relation or some type or correlation to eachother. They are trying to say the same thing about men and women. They try to teach kids early on to be big, muscular, and the best looking man they can be. I honestly didnt realize when i was a kid that they used what we learned recently about the color codes and masculinity and feminitity. These disney movies do this on purpose so later on in men and womens life the womens finds their “prince charming” and men find their love of their lives. Honestly these days its not even like that anymore. Women like those “badass” guys who treat them like shit while men and other guys dont even care about the women. Honestly it should be like how its portrayed in the films when everyone is nice to eachother and treats them well. Not like how it is in todays world.

    Comment by Justin N — July 24, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

  190. The fact that “chick flicks” send out a certain message to women isn’t surprising, but I never considered the fact that G-rated movies are sending out the same message to young children. It’s surprising that Disney movies, which are meant to send out positive messages to young children about acceptance and other healthy messages, are in turn doing the exact opposite. I’ve never taken into account that the sex of the character could influence the young and impressionable audience in such a negative way. Hopefully, with studies like this one reaching out to and educating the public, people can be more aware of not only what they’re watching and being influenced by, but the messages that their children are being taught as well.

    Comment by Ely M — July 24, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

  191. As a child I saw every disney movie and always looked forward to halloween so I could dress up like the princesses. Watching the video and reading the article completely turned those memories and the reality of my childhood upside down. Yet reflecting back I completely see the effects that those images had and have on me. I remember staring at the television and feeling the need to be like the female characters but deep down I wanted to have the adventures and drama that the male characters had. However through the images that I was presented with I knew where my place in the world would be…it would be with a man. I also remember teasing my little brother for not being strong or adventurous as the heroes in the movies. And I can see the effect that it had on him, he constantly feels the need to present himself in a certain way, and constantly feeling the need to hit the gym and be tough. The research that was done completely makes you question the images that children are forced to see, the question now is how do we get the media to stop displaying racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist images?

    Comment by Natalia T — September 26, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  192. I never paid attention to the messages that were passed along through children’s movies, more particularly, through the Disney movies. I never noticed the sexism the children’s media instills in the minds of these impressionable kids. Men are portrayed as adventurous, tough, handsome and superior to the women, while women are described as quiet, weak, flawless and subordinate. The unfortunate part of this classification is that boys and girls grow up believing that they are required to behave like the characters they admire and look up to on the screen.

    Comment by Tiffany M — October 10, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

  193. This year has been startling epiphany after startling epiphany. The video by Sanjay Newton and the accompanying piece further illuminate the growing division in terms of cultivation. Recently, I offered to buy my 3-year old niece some videogames for her birthday that I thought she would appreciate but her mother, my sister, responded, “No, she would love you if you got her boots”. That stuck out to me because I realized the issue doesn’t lie entirely with the media but with the parents as well. My niece was socialized to watch and absorb the inherent sexist messages of Disney at an early age due to the parent’s affinity but when this highly damaging images come in the form of innocent Disney films, then how can we combat notions of essentialism when it is so deeply embedded in popular culture?

    Comment by Albert A. — October 27, 2013 @ 8:54 am

  194. I do know that Disney goes to great lengths to maintain a certain image, however watching the beloved Disney movies as a child, I, as well as probably the majority of the pblic, did not reocgnize the heavy amount of sexism delivered within the films. Disney is so incredibly serious bout maintaining their presitigious public image that the filed a law-suit, and won a cace against a pre-school wall mural that was in their opinion painted badly and represented the Disney characters in an ugly manner. One might argue that the sexism so heavily integrated into the plot was simply a matter of the media’s mirror image of society, howeverif Disney is so meticulous about their image, of course these plots have been extremely thought out and purposely include the heavy amounts of sexism that it does so include. As a young child, the only film that I did actually notice the points brought up in this article, was Beauty and The Beast. However,I always held thiss movie in the regard that “nice guys do not finish last.”, and that men that are so very well represented by Gaston, are the ones who in fact, do not end up “winning” because it is up to the female, whether or not they win . However this articulation downright objectifies women to be the exact “trophy” which is to be fought over and won, as the video explains.I will definetly be sharing this link.

    Comment by Jacqueline C — October 27, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  195. As usual, it’s amazing how normalized the sexist themes featured in Disney films have become; so much so, that they are not noticed at all. Gender socialization through the media from the earliest possible age, and the same exact themes are fed to us throughout adulthood. And since most parents do not know and/or do not care about this kind of stereotyping, it continues unabated. Parents must be informed about the harmfulness of their children being exposed to these messages so that they can stop the false stereotypes their children, which will definitely improve their ability to discern between truth and stereotypes as they grow up.

    Comment by Sepehr H — November 2, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

  196. Sadly his post only serves to reaffirm that children from a very young age are predisposed to the views and restrictions of our society’s gender roles. That this is done from the moment children are born is harmful and carries a lasting affect on how they will interact with one another and how they will see themselves as a part of our society. Unfortunately Disney and Matel play a major part and influence in childhood education and development.

    Comment by M. Lisa Cruz — November 6, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

  197. At a young age I did not realize the repetitive roles that male and female characters played. Now I understand that gender socialization is reinforced through media. Children movies are constantly reinforcing stereotypes and gender roles by portraying similar characteristics in their characters. The common stereotypes of what it takes to be a man and what is desirable is clearly shown through many of the Disney Princess movies. The same goes for the female characters/ princesses in the movies always been fragile and being rescued by the “prince charming”,therefore, contributing to the common woman ideal of society that they too will have a hero and a happy ending.

    Comment by Julissa C — November 11, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  198. It is so interesting that gender socialization is all around us yet we are so used to it that we don’t even realize it until it is pointed out. The media is a huge source of gender socialization. I grew up with Disney films and loved them as a child. I’ve always considered Disney films to be innocent, but I realize now that most of it is just more systematic patriarchy. The ideas that are portrayed in most Disney films do center around males being dominant and women being weak. There are certain films such as Mulan, that show a woman in power. But these films are very rare, and even Mulan is centered around a love story. Children are watching these films and learning how to do gender “properly” according to what society wants from them.

    Comment by Christine E — November 19, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  199. The first I heard about this issue I just didn’t want to hear about it at all. I thought hear we go again over analyzing things now we’re even going to ruin kids movies. But as reluctant as I was to pay attention I did and it made me very sad. I don’t like to admit it but the issues being described here are true. And dangerously so too. It doesn’t matter if one new movie come out that is totally different it has to be a consistent thing not a once in a while thing. A big part of this is Disney. They have a huge power all over the world to influence kids minds and imaginations. And because of that they also have a huge responsibility not to fill kids heads with wrong information.

    Comment by Jessica L. — November 25, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  200. I find it so strange that I have never recognized how deep into sexism, dominance, and strength Disney movies go into. Ever since I was young my parents always allowed me to watch Disney movies because they are the “safest”. Now that I know, its so sad to know that children are introduced to this idea of sexism at such a young age, from a source that most people consider to be clean and not have a negative connotation. I for one will not allow my kids to watch Disney movies, as sad as it is they will be introduced to sexism and dominance, I don’t want them to be introduced to sexism and dominance at such a young age.

    Comment by Arian Z — November 26, 2013 @ 8:49 am

  201. I agree that from a young age girls are socialized to value beauty and physical appearance to achieve an success. Only beautiful slimmer girls are featured in our media or sought after by males. It is very obvious in Disney cartoons, seeing that only the most beautiful females get a prince and get to live happily ever after. It produces a false reality in a child’s mind especially when they are over exposed to these types of cartoons, toys, and other media sources. They begin to seek a “prince” at a young age and have the mentality that they will never be happy until they are in love.

    Comment by ChristinaB — November 26, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  202. Being a female, I watch these movies now with my young nieces and I am able to see the messages of love, standards for being a woman and morals that these movies subliminally ingrain in our heads. I do have to say that I never really paid much attention to the male perspective growing up because it didn’t apply to me. But now that I am older I can’t believe how obvious these images are and how detrimental they can be to a young child. Being told in movies that are supposed to be lighthearted and fun are jamming images of masculinity down these kids throats. You have to be big and strong and not afraid to fight. We show these movies to little boys and then wonder why they are fighting in school or are growing up too fast. Well, the images that they are shown at a young age aren’t helping.

    Comment by Serena R. — November 26, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

  203. From the beginning of movie making history, men were the main characters. Women were there to support men and to create a romantic aspect. In the movies where a woman is the main character, most times there is a man to help her. As subtle as this can be at times, it leads women to believe that they cannot do something on their own-that they need a man to be complete. The cultivation is not just related to women. Through gender socialization, society tells boys that they need to look and act a certain way to be masculine and if they are not then they are looked down upon.

    Comment by Elizabeth C. — November 26, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

  204. The article reminds me of a time were all I would think about is my skinny non-threatening body. Only till recently do I now understand how impact cultivation is to our psyche. I often wonder whether boys/ men are inherently more aggressive, violent, or “tough.” For me, I had never really been that way. I had always been quite, little reserved, and gentle with people I loved. Seeing that we are often presented an image of men being dominate, strong, and built. It’s now surprise now that I see men my age presenting themselves as strong, built, and tough. Since our culture sees those characteristics as manly I see many men today trying to prove to other men and women that they fit those standards. It’s often hard not to conform to these norms of behavior; I often look in the mirror and wonder whether or not I look “manly.” I often workout, build my body, and “act” confident. However, the more I do this the more of myself I begin to lose. Sometimes I look into the mirror and see my body but I feel like I’m someone else on the inside. Today, I continue to struggle in finding the thin line between what it means to be a man in our society and what it means to be a man in my eyes. Hopefully, one day I’ll understand it but till that day comes I’ll just have to fight with what my environment gives me.

    Comment by Giovanni A — November 29, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  205. I find it so strange that I have never recognized how deep into sexism, dominance, and strength Disney movies go into. Ever since I was young my parents always allowed me to watch Disney movies because they are the “safest”. Now that I know, its so sad to know that children are introduced to this idea of sexism at such a young age, from a source that most people consider to be clean and not have a negative connotation. I for one will not allow my kids to watch Disney movies, as sad as it is they will be introduced to sexism and dominance, I don’t want them to be introduced to sexism and dominance at such a young age.

    Comment by Arian Z — December 2, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  206. Disney movies show a clear representation of hegemonic masculinity to one who is paying attention. In many of these movies, strength is a quality to only men. They are also the leaders compared to women who are almost prizes. Because young children of both sexes very frequently see these images, they are cultivated to believe that the significance of their gender is represented by the extremity to which they display these characteristics. Also, the fact the Disney is a household name and favored by parents, the effects of its socializing ability are immense to even the largest populations.

    Comment by Gabriel P — December 2, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  207. I was raised watching Disney movies and every movie I always wanted to be the male hero. Growing up you really don’t notice that men are the primarily gender in movies, and I think that’s where it starts hitting our minds unconsciously. The movies are already socialization our mind to view society where men should be tough and women should be dependent. This is clear with how the media portrays all genders. Disney movies convey sexist undertones that go unnoticed by adults and children and it starts installing theses conventions of what we should be. On a whole we can see a huge difference in the comparison of representation of women. The best thing that a Disney heroin can do is to marry her prince charming, but is that all that girls get out of it? Sadly, yes. Girls now strive to find their prince charming. Aside from women being dependent on a man, the Disney heroines are also suffering due to another woman/women. For example, Cinderella is suffering in her life due to her wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters and Snow White suffers because of the wicked Queen. Usually the beautiful and kind female is weak, and the unattractive cruel female is powerful and ugly. Disney movies are the most watched children movies and young girls love the princess concept and strive to be and this should let parents pay close attention to what their children are watching, regardless of what it is.

    Comment by Benjamin C. — December 2, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

  208. This comment brings awareness to the systematic gender roles predisposed to young children. These movies portray how sexism starts at such a young age, which then causes children to grow up into these gender roles. This is what they are taught. This is what we are all taught and it is hard to steer away for what the ‘norm’ is, or at least what the ‘norm’ is considered to be. When watching these films as a little girl, I don’t realize how masculine these movies tend to be and how they devalue women, but realizing it now brings awareness to me. These movies that revolve around male dominance will not only effect the children that watch them, but our society as a whole.

    Comment by Tatiana Kohanzad — December 3, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  209. It’s funny how when we are growing up, we love these Disney movies, we love the princess and the beauty ends up with the emotionally abusive beast. Becoming a little educated though gets you a long way especially when you realize that these Disney movies in fact don’t contain a positive message, but they contain many negative messages influencing patriarchy. These movies all give women a lesser, and unimportant role, only being used for their looks. After the men are always the strong, violent, and successful, as they are trying to influence what masculinity is. These are the stereotypes that fuel the patriarchy we live in today. These movies are teaching little boys and girls that these stereotypes are expected of them, and how if they are to fail to live up to that stereotype they will be frowned upon. I think the media could play a huge part in helping to end these stereotypes, but I don’t think that is very likely, until we all become educated and force them to.

    Comment by Jason P — December 3, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

  210. When watching Disney movies now, I have noticed the gender roles portrayed. These movies show young girls and boys the gender roles that they will take in the future in a subtle way. These movies glamorize the roles in a way to make young boys and girls wish to take on these roles and be accustomed to take on these roles in the future. To see that parents allow children to watch these kinds of movies without knowing about the hidden messages is eye-opening. These messages are so subtle that some parents don’t even notice it. They teach girls that they need to be pretty and dependent in order to get a man and they teach men to be strong and adventurous. These ideas sent out by these movies portray that women must be feminine and men must be masculine. These movies are giving children the idea that the way we see it in these movies is how we are supposed to act and what life is like. These messages are unrealistic and impractical.

    Comment by Ashley B. — December 3, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  211. Growing up watching Disney movies I never realized the subliminal messages that were hidden within the movies. After reading this article, it is so sad how early in our lives we are being exposed to sexism and gender roles. Boys and girls are being expected to act a certain way at a young age. After reading this article I can say that the Disney movies I watched when I was a young girl definitely had an impact on me and the standards I set for myself and what I want and expect from a man. Girls are being told from a young age that they must be beautiful and dependent in order to get a prince charming. Boys are being told that they must grow up to be handsome, charming, and masculine. This article made me realize the impact Disney movies have on young boys as well and what society expects of them.

    Comment by Daniella S. — December 3, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  212. I feel as if I have to sit and re-watch all the animated films I have seen since I was a kid. It is insane that we need a specific education to help us destroy the seeds of gender socialization and judgement that continue to grow unless we do something about them. Information was recently brought to my attention about the character of Scar in the Lion King and how he was gay. I did not believe anything until I went back and re-watched it. The portrayal of his face resembles that of the stereotypical homosexual as represented by Hollywood. His eyebrows and elegant facial features/expressions, his feminine walk, his homosexual behaviors, etc. He is cast as the villain of the story and forced to live in the ghettos with the hyenas (who are all played by African american and Hispanic voice actors). It is just astounding to see how we have been shaped to believe what is considered masculine and feminine through cartoons.

    Comment by Nathan P. — December 3, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

  213. When I was a kid, I basically watched Disney movies because it filled me with joy, just like every other kid in the world. But I had no idea, Disney had to do with gender socialization. I was honestly surprised how much work they put on sexism and dominance. I was amazed how they focus more on the male characters than females, which proves that they are promoting a patriarchal society. Looking at it closely male characters are mostly portrayed as strong, masculine, and athletic. Female characters on the other hand are obviously pretty, elegant, and portrays what girls and women are in the real world. This can be one of the factors I ended up playing soccer, swimming, and weight lifting to achieve a masculine characters such as Hercules, etc.

    Comment by Hiro K — December 4, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  214. I have just noticed something incredibly ludicrous,and it has to do with the comments rather than the article.
    The past several individuals who have commented on this article have all said that they “had no idea that Disney had to do with gender socialization”, that they “had to sit and re-watch all the animated films to realize this”, that they “never realized the subliminal messages that were hidden within the movies”,that “when watching the Disney movies NOW (from the video)”, they have come to “notice the gender roles portrayed.” I am sure countless of more spectators were thinking these and expressed their views upon seeing this article.
    What that basically means is that animated films that were suppose to expose toddlers to gender socilation did not succeed in doing so. Toddlers took more enjoyment out of the storyline of the films than the gender roles that were portrayed.
    Yes, many animated films have exposed toddlers to masculinity and femininity, yet it does not seem like these animated films were a factor in causing a boy to call another boy “a pussy” if he isn’t strong enough or unwilling to fight, or a girl to be called a “b*tch” if she isn’t sensitive. Toddlers are being shaped by other means, or it could be that toddlers can also find certain attributes to be attractives without being forced or encouraged.

    And so, I believe the majority of animated films and the media are fine and should stay as is. But if you do not think so, than be my guest, and please tell me how it would affect you and society if half of the animated films you saw actually portrayed female hero charactors exercising their strengths and surprassing challenges to save male figures.

    Comment by Tamir M. — April 8, 2014 @ 11:42 am

  215. As I watched the video, I cringed knowing that some of my favorite movies play such a significant role in gender socialization. I don’t think Disney set out to purposefully create a patriarchal society, but Walt Disney and team just created films on what existed in our world. Instead of portraying men and women in different roles, they gave us what we are taught at home and more so, what they were taught and the roles they played in society. Women handle domestic and home issues, while men go out and do the dirty work to bring home the bacon. I have to slightly defend Disney. I think the problem with Disney is the people who control the decisions. The change at the top is where we have to start. We are seeing more and more women CEO’s and in higher ranking political positions. As we continue to carve out our equal place next to a man, I do have hope that Disney will one day create a feel good story about a woman who falls in love with a non-white Prince Charming. Or a boy who was confused about his gender and realized he was gay and lived happily ever after. We have long strides to make but with people like Geena Davis and the Institution she created – gender socialization is now being noticed more. Companies like Disney, will think twice about the kind of movies they are making. Case in point the last two Disney movies were “Brave” and “Tangled.” Brave did have a fight scene, but this time the fight was between Merida’s mom and the bear. The movie focused more on the mother/daughter relationship. As for “Tangled” yes, epic love story, but the fight scene was not between two men. Not the best progress, but even if a centimeter, it’s progress.

    Comment by Rosa G. — April 18, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

  216. The media has a large impact on gender socialization whether it is pictures or films. I remember as a kid when I was watching the Disney films I wanted to be the courageous warrior prince that would save the day. As I grew older I realized a reoccurring theme or pattern of the male whether a prince or not was always the one to save the woman whether she was a princess or not. The concept of cultivation, the stability of these messages being showed and not changing them. In the Disney films the majority of the time the male lead role was a prince or a male of high standing who was courageous, strong, dominant and had a physically strong body. Then it showed that the woman was a princess or someone of high standing who was beautiful, caring, compassionate and who cared about her looks. By portraying these certain qualities and characteristics to these characters in the films and then being viewed by children it showed how children should act. It reinforces essentialism that one’s sex determines your gender when in reality it shouldn’t and isn’t true.

    Comment by Pablo D — April 20, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

  217. Battling for domination and strength over another male for a beautiful princess is the common trend of Disney cartoons for both girls and boys. Disney movies carry the same messages that subconsciously go into children’s minds under a repetition of images known as cultivation. Out of all chick flicks Disney made in the princess genre, I assumed Mulan was the most masculine one that set up woman with masculine characteristics defining the expectations of males being strong to fight for women who spend time in the kitchen and make meals for men. All these ideas of masculinity and femininity emerge in Disney movies that children constantly watch that is cultivated and influences the impression of being a deserving strong male for the pretty woman. Children’s lives are mostly influenced by what they see as children as it has to many of us. If these roles are changed in Disney movies, the gender roles in our socialization can emerge to change.

    Comment by Ariel M — May 16, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

  218. The messages that are sent to children in Disney movies stay with them throughout their lives. They are constantly seeing similar images represent certain characteristics of feminine qualities and masculine qualities and this repetition of seeing similar images is known as cultivation. Once these images have been cultivated into the minds of young boys and girls, they will always grow up believing that these images represent the way the world should be and they will never do anything to against these images. Maybe if kids movies and shows did not repetitively put certain images into children’s heads, gender roles today would be very different than the way that they are right now.

    Comment by Matthew S — May 23, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

  219. Looking back at what toys I would play with as a little girl versus what toy a boy would play with were completely different. The media is resposible for creating indicators in toys for what is appropraite for a girl to play with, and what toy is appropriate for a boy to play with. The practice of genderizing toys for boys and girls was created in order to maintain stereotypes. Disney is also gendertyping in their movies. The characters in the movies were idols, they embodies everything that we wanted to be when we were young. By looking closely into the Disney films we realize that they are setting up gender roles for us as kids. Young girls are surrounded with the image of princesses, who tell them that the key to happiness is to be beautiful and find a man to save you. Young men are taught that to be successful you must be good looking,muscular, and manipulative. Why is it important for young girls to stick to domestic stereotypes? What would it be wrong for young girls to favor playing with trucks and the color blue. It is important as a society to detach from these negative stereotypes in order to become a just society.

    Comment by Rachel Moreh — May 26, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  220. Entry # 3:
    Gender Socialization in the Media from Childhood to Adulthood
    http://www.feministfatale.com/2008/10/gender-socialization-in-the-media-from-childhood-to-adulthood/
    When I was a child I would love watching Disney movies. I would dream about being a princess, and one day finding my prince. Luckily, I’ve awakened from these dreams, and now understand that these Disney movies are simply another form of gender socialization. They all repeat the same scenarios and roles of masculinity and femininity while keeping children in gendered boxes. These stories and images continue to cultivate and reinforce the same messages of what’s normal and valuable. Unfortunately, our children don’t know any better. One of the ways kids learn how to be in the world is by watching these hyper-feminine and hyper-masculine characters. Another problem with these Disney movies is that they help keep our patriarchy in place by having the same stories revolve around heterosexual relationships including a hero who saves the heroine. Almost always these women are viewed as “ objects of pleasure or servants” to please men characters. The masculinity in Disney glorifies chiseled bodies, exercise dominance, displays strength, and physical paralysis. If these male characters don’t want to be considered weak or pitiful they have to prove their dominance by fighting. I’ve grown to see this as a serious issue among many boys and men. I know that these so-called masculine traits aren’t natural or inherent like essentialism plays it out to be. In particular, I’ve noticed my twin brother Jonathan change from being bullied into becoming a bully. When my brother was a child he was often teased, but when he hit puberty he filled out and got taller and stronger than the rest of his class. Once Jonathan knew he had advantage over others he started to conform to masculinity ideals and exercised his power. Eventually, Jonathan remembered the past and how he was treated, and he decided that he didn’t want to be just another angry guy. I’m incredibly grateful that Jonathan came to this realization, but I know that not all men do, and violent masculinity is still very present and continues to be a problem in society. I’ve seen Disney make a few changes here and there, but we still got a long way to go, and I hope one day young men will be encouraged to be caring, compassionate, and vulnerable individuals, instead of being emotional detached physical bodies.

    Comment by AngelaC — May 27, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

  221. When I was a child I would love watching Disney movies. I would dream about being a princess, and one day finding my prince. Luckily, I’ve awakened from these dreams, and now understand that these Disney movies are simply another form of gender socialization. They all repeat the same scenarios and roles of masculinity and femininity while keeping children in gendered boxes. These stories and images continue to cultivate and reinforce the same messages of what’s normal and valuable. Unfortunately, our children don’t know any better. One of the ways kids learn how to be in the world is by watching these hyper-feminine and hyper-masculine characters. Another problem with these Disney movies is that they help keep our patriarchy in place by having the same stories revolve around heterosexual relationships including a hero who saves the heroine. Almost always these women are viewed as “ objects of pleasure or servants” to please men characters. The masculinity in Disney glorifies chiseled bodies, exercise dominance, displays strength, and physical paralysis. If these male characters don’t want to be considered weak or pitiful they have to prove their dominance by fighting. I’ve grown to see this as a serious issue among many boys and men. I know that these so-called masculine traits aren’t natural or inherent like essentialism plays it out to be. In particular, I’ve noticed my twin brother Jonathan change from being bullied into becoming a bully. When my brother was a child he was often teased, but when he hit puberty he filled out and got taller and stronger than the rest of his class. Once Jonathan knew he had advantage over others he started to conform to masculinity ideals and exercised his power. Eventually, Jonathan remembered the past and how he was treated, and he decided that he didn’t want to be just another angry guy. I’m incredibly grateful that Jonathan came to this realization, but I know that not all men do, and violent masculinity is still very present and continues to be a problem in society. I’ve seen Disney make a few changes here and there, but we still got a long way to go, and I hope one day young men will be encouraged to be caring, compassionate, and vulnerable individuals, instead of being emotional detached physical bodies.

    Comment by AngelaC — May 27, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

  222. The media is one of the most powerful sources of influence to society. In today’s world, we are constantly surrounded by the media whether it be by television advertisements or posters or magazines. The media convinces society that the only characteristics that are useful or applauded are the superficial traits such as strength and physical beauty. More than ever, we see young girls going to extremes to look beautiful. For example, the media today imposes that being skinny is the new sexy. So, young girls will develop and eating disorder or be bulimic in order to fit that standard. Men are supposed to be strong, emotionless, and be the bread winner of their family. If they are seen as kind or show emotions, they are labeled as being homosexual and unmanly. So many movies portray male characters as the dominant one in the relationship, especially Disney movies such as Hercules or the Lion King. Disney movies are reflections of what our society is today, just animated. Disney uses dominance and aggression in their movies, which can easily influence young viewers who are watching their films. If other characteristics were displayed such as kindness and respect, then Disney wouldn’t have a plot in their films and their sales would go down. Boys watching Disney films will think it is their duty to be the dominant partner in the relationship, and if they were anything but that, they would be seen as a social outcast. Disney is setting the standard for how men should treat women and how men should behave in general. Women will start to believe if they are not aesthetically beautiful, then they will never find a man who is handsome and appreciates them. It is our job to stop letting our kids see these films that applaud such behavior and characteristics.

    Comment by Arya A — May 28, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

  223. I’ve been a Disney fan my whole life- I was raised on marathons and trips to Disneyland- and only in recent years has the sexism in Disney films become clear to me. My favorite Disney movie of all time is Beauty and the Beast for too many reasons. Gaston, the main villain, has the ideal body type described in the video. He’s tough and “manly”, a hunter and a womanizer, and he’s got essentially a shrine devoted to his hunting skills set up over at the local tavern. Never in my life have I seen another villain as terrifying as Gaston. He’s so horrifying because he could be anyone. We’ve all encountered Gastons in day-to-day life, and though I’m glad that it’s well established that he’s the villain of the story, it can often be a little difficult to see that, considering that the entire town is fawning over how great he is. Belle, our main protagonist, is praised for her beauty, but it never once seems to occur to her that “her looks have got no parallel”, as the characters sing. She’s an outcast, and worries that she’s weird for enjoying books and supporting her father, an inventor. She’s smart and brave and has no greater pleasure than sitting down with a good book, which seems crazy to put in a princess movie, but I’m so glad that it’s there. The message that staying true to yourself and embracing what you love and especially the message that education is worth fighting for is more important that any other message Disney has delivered, in my opinion. When faced with a Beast who attempts to use force to contain her and scare her, she makes it abundantly clear that she has no tolerance for his behavior, and forces him to treat her with respect. Though this movie isn’t perfect, it’s better than most. Disney has perpetuated some pretty toxic ideas (e.g. beauty standards, gender roles, the “damsel in distress”), I hope that we’ll be seeing more of these positive messages in upcoming Disney films.

    Comment by Maya K — May 30, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

  224. Right off the bat I can say that I completely agree with this video and I am a subject of this video. While watching Disney movies when I was younger seemed extremely awesome and harmless I did not think that it was giving me silent negative mementos. In almost every movie the place women in an inferior and lower role that is just mere eye-candy. After that, they try and establish what masculinity should be, strength, violence and success and through these messaged whether it is indirect or direct they shape other little boys. These stereotypes are only enforcing the system of patriarchy we live in today and it is not helping the feminist movement all together. By having these types of movies in our mainstream media, we are only telling young boys and girls that these stereotypes are expected of them and that they should feel like they have failed if they cannot live up to that stereotype. Until we can infuse masculinity with compassion and caring with the help of the media, males and females will continue to feel insufficient. It’s a shame that this is what the socialized world has become and that this is considered the norm.

    Comment by Daniel Nikravesh — May 31, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  225. I remember I would always watch Disney movies as a little girl and I would always fantasize and dream about being that princess and hopefully finding my glass slipper one day by my prince. I now no longer look forward to this or even dream about this. Now that I’m older I understand the gender socialization that is being put out with these Disney movies. It comes off appealing and positive, however it actually does the opposite by imposing patriarchy. They really do nothing but bring women down by being used as playing a less important role and by always being beautiful which shows that looks are everything for a women. For masculinity they put out that the man needs to be successful and strong. This is already showing children at a young age that this is the system of patriarchy we are in. Because of Disney young girls and young boys think that these stereotypes are normals and that that’s what’s okay. They expect this and if they don’t get what they see in these movies they will feel as if they failed.

    Comment by Jennifer P — June 2, 2014 @ 1:03 am

  226. Throughout many children’s lives, they are being gender socialized constantly in our society though our mass media and our concept of what a girl and a boy should like. In our society, girls are always being bombarded with toys such as dolls, tea cups, barbies, and anything that has an association with the color pink. On the other hand, boys are constantly being reminded to like manly things like Gi I Joe, trucks, race cars, and sports. i believe that what our society is doing to our kids is wrong. They are forcing ideas that they think a child likes down their throats and not giving them a chance to try other things. For example, my little sister has numerous amounts of toys, but most of them only consist of barbies, dolls, and most of her clothing are mainly pink. I’m also very against the idea that the media constantly reminds people that women always have to be pretty or a man always has to be aggressive or like manly things or else they are punished. This creates a lot of low self-esteem in our present and future generations. Now, would like your child to not express everything he or she feels?

    Comment by Shahab Naimi — June 2, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

  227. It sad to see how Disney movies, what I thought what so innocent, also partakes in patriarchy and gender socialization. When I first read this article I thought to myself theres no way Disney would implement such ideas in their movies knowing little children watch it. But I guess I was wrong. . Becoming educated in this matter gets you a long way especially when you realize that these Disney movies in fact don’t contain a positive message, but they contain many negative messages influencing patriarchy. Disney movies portrays the wrong way for a man to attain and practice is power and position in the world. I am very disappointed with Disney because they have the tool to educate our children at a young age but instead they abuse their power and teach children about gender roles in society. I almost have no faith in humanity anymore because everywhere we turn to the media is there imbedding patriarchy into our minds. They even went as far as implementing it in movies made for children. Very sad.

    Comment by Daniel Y. — June 3, 2014 @ 2:48 am

  228. I was more than happy to weigh in on this article as I can say without a doubt that much of my childhood- and, I dare say… my adulthood has been plagued by the gendered roles in the Disney movies I saw growing up. As I child I loved fairy tales almost more than anything. I grew up in a completely dysfunctional family and spent most of my childhood lost in books- in fairytale. I couldn’t wait till I could grow up one day and have my very own fairy tale. In fact it was all I considered important as a little girl. I thought that all I needed to do was to be as pretty as snow white, as hard of a worker as Cinderella and endure a little bit of abuse like belle in Beauty and the beast and one day I could make a perfect life. The gendered stereotypes in Disney movies made me want to focus more on being pretty as a little girl than it did on making me want to be the smartest girl in class. I wish that more movies were made when I was growing up about tough, educated, adventurous women. I often wonder how different my life would have been had I been taught from an early age that my value and self worth are not relative to who is in love with me or by how pretty I was but instead by integrity, character and fortitude!

    Comment by Jennifer S. — June 4, 2014 @ 12:49 am

  229. It is actually interesting to see these types of things, when one usually would say why analyze something like a kids film, but then it is evident that the idea of male dominance is begun since the early stages. I have watched almost all Disney movies, so now it is like everything becomes clear, because I can see what type of mentalities are put into the films showed to kids. Frozen can be said to be a step into a different direction, but the fact that it took that long is sad. Feminists can not only have the right to argue sexism, but also the fact that no one chose to notice it or worse ignored it. Ignoring would be worse because it is not only that you knew, but then the person decides that it is not of relevance or importance. It was really hard to see a strong female lead, and they were usually more of a prize more than anything. Men were usually leaders, strong, and of course ready to fight. This type of information coming to light is great, and it helps to be more aware rather than apathetic.

    Comment by Kevin Monterroso — July 28, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

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