A half-century of research has identified that mass media portrayals of women are influential in shaping their self-image and self-esteem, as well as men's and societies' views of women. Comparatively few studies have examined mass media portrayals of men and male identity, and gender studies have often assumed these to be unproblematic. But, in a post-industrial era of massive economic, technological and social change, research shows mass media are projecting and propagating new images of male identity from Atlas Syndrome workaholics and 'deadbeat dads' to 'metrosexuals' and men with "a feminine side" with potentially significant social implications.
New research reported in this book shows that portrayals of men and male identity in contemporary western societies are overwhelmingly negative and that men today are extensively demonized, marginalized, trivialized and objectified in mass media.
This study concludes that, unless addressed, the effects of negative discourse on the self-identity and self-esteem of men, and especially boys growing up, are potentially devastating and that the longer-term and wider social implications will also be costly.