Sociology Essay: “How Far Would Sociologists Agree That the Media Causes Eating Disorders in Women?

903 Words Jan 29th, 2012 4 Pages
“How far would sociologists agree that the media causes eating disorders in women?

In this essay I will discuss how far sociologists would agree that the media causes eating disorders in women. Eating disorders refer to a group of conditions characterized by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the damage of an individual's physical and emotional health. Eating disorders include: bulimia, anorexia and obesity. First Marxists would argue all young females in the west are exposed to the media and the stereotypical view of women is that they are “slim and beautiful”. This means that young females are influenced into trying to be the “perfect” image of a beautiful woman and in order to
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This implies that even though Cheryl Cole is thin she is somewhat idolized by females and due to the media showcasing her as being pretty, successful and a role model young girls are bring encouraged into becoming skinny, thus suffering from eating disorders. In addition to this peers are encouraged by the media into becoming this “perfect” image of a female and could excrete this belief/opinion onto their friends resulting in females suffering from eating disorders. American modeling contests showcase contestants as being 15% below the average size of females. This could mean that by watching these types of TV shows peers are somewhat manipulated into trying to be these women and encourage other females into doing so. This shows the media is powerful and is to blame/causes eating disorders in women. On the other hand Functionalists would argue that only 3%-4% of females suffer from eating disorders and this figure isn’t large so the females who are affected from eating disorders can’t all have been influenced by the media thus the media is not at fault and does not encourage females to suffer from serious eating disorders such as anorexia. This could imply that females are subjected to the Decoding theory as they choose to interpret the image of females in the media differently and they do not believe that if women portrayed by the media are slim, they need to imitate/copy that same image. As well as this

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