MAM

Superheroes send wrong image to boys: Researchers

MUMBAI: Watching superheroes beat up villains may not be the best image for boys to see if society wants to promote kinder, less stereotypical male behaviours, according to psychologists who spoke at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. 
 
Psychologist Sharon Lamb says, "There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday.


"Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity. When not in superhero costume, these men, like Ironman, exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns. "


The comic book heroes of the past did fight criminals. "But these were heroes boys could look up to and learn from because outside of their costumes, they were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities" she said.
 
 
To understand how the media and marketers package masculinity to boys, Lamb surveyed 674 boys aged 4 to 18, walked through malls and talked to sales clerks and came to understand what boys were reading and watching on television and at the movies.


Lamb and her co-authors found that marketers take advantage of boys’ need to forge their identity in adolescence and sell them a narrow version of masculinity. They can either be a "player" or a "slacker" - the guy who never even tries – to save face.


Lamb adds, "In today’s media, superheroes and slackers are the only two options boys have.


"Boys are told, if you can’t be a superhero, you can always be a slacker. Slackers are funny, but slackers are not what boys should strive to be; slackers don’t like school and they shirk responsibility. We wonder if the messages boys get about saving face through glorified slacking could be affecting their performance in school"


Teaching boys early on to distance themselves from these images and encouraging them to find the lies in the messages can help, said Lamb. "When you crowd out other types of media messages, you promote stereotypes and limit their options."


Boys seem better adjusted when they resist internalizing "macho" images, according to a researcher who also presented at APA’s convention.


Researcher Carlos Santos of Arizona State University, examined 426 middle school boys’ ability to resist being emotionally stoic, autonomous and physically tough — stereotyped images of masculinity — in their relationships. He also looked at how this would affect their psychological adjustment.
 
 
Santos looked at whether boys could resist being tough, emotionally unavailable, and detached from their friends as they moved from sixth to eighth grade; whether ethnicity made a difference; whether their relationships with their families and peer group fostered this resistance; and whether resisting these images affected their psychological health.


Participants were from different racial/ethnic backgrounds: 20 per cent were African-American, nine per cent were Puerto Rican, 17 per cent were Dominican-American, 21 per cent were Chinese-American, 27 per cent were European-American and six per cent were of another race or ethnicity.


Boys from diverse ethnic and racial groups were equally able to resist these masculine stereotypes, going against the common belief that certain ethnic minority boys are more emotionally stunted and hypermasculine, said Santos. Few differences were detected and most tended to dissipate over the course of middle school.


He found that boys were more likely to act tough and detached from their friends as they got older. But boys who remained close to their mothers, siblings and peers did not act as tough and were more emotionally available to their friends compared to those who were not as close. However, closeness to fathers encouraged boys to be more autonomous and detached from friendships.


"If the goal is to encourage boys to experience healthy family relationships as well as healthy friendships, clinicians and interventionists working with families may benefit from having fathers share with their sons on the importance of experiencing multiple and fulfilling relationships in their lives" Santos said. He also found that boys who were depressed had a harder time not acting macho in their friendships.


Interestingly, levels of emotional stoicism tended to remain stable throughout the middle school years and boys who did not adopt these macho behaviors had better psychological health in middle school, he found.


The results show that being able to resist internalizing these macho images —especially aggression and autonomy — declines as boys transition into adolescence and this decline puts their mental health at risk. "Helping boys resist these behaviours early on seems to be a critical step toward improving their health and the quality of their social relationships," said Santos.
 

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/tubelight.jpg?itok=JCsfNalw
UC News to promote ‘Tubelight’, partners SK Films

UC News, a part of Alibaba Mobile Business Group, with over 100 million monthly active users in India and Indonesia, has partnered with SK Films to promote the most awaited movie of the year - Tubelight.

MAM Marketing Brands
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/Roda%20Mehta.jpg?itok=qX60_49A
AAAI honours senior media planner Roda Mehta

MUMBAI: The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has announced that the recipient of this year’s AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award is Roda Mehta. AAAI Award is the highest honour given to an individual in India for his/her outstanding contribution to the Advertising Industry. The AAAI...

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/Vaibhav-Odhekar.jpg?itok=uTHBo16N
Ad platform POKKT appoints Wahab as VP

MUMBAI: POKKT, India’s & SEA’s leading smartphone advertising platform for mobile games, has announced the appointment of Abdul Wahab as Vice President, Global Delivery Head. Abdul will be responsible for timely delivery of campaigns, optimizing cost, maintain KPIs towards the goals targeted,...

MAM Media and Advertising People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/Myntra-%20Novi.jpg?itok=yrsvyXpI
Myntra launches digital campaign with customer

MUMBAI: Myntra has launched a three-minute video, featuring a customer for the first time. Data driven insights indicate that she has been one of the most consistent shoppers on the platform, especially during EORS (End of Reason Sale) – Myntra’s flagship biannual sale, from the north-east region...

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/Haresh_Nayak-OOHZONE.jpg?itok=aNE3huzC
Posterscope India launches OOHZONE

MUMBAI: Posterscope India, the out-of-home agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has launched ‘OOHZONE’, a fully automated live dashboard for OOH media planning. Its shear scope of process automation and innovative design makes it an impressive asset, which the agency trusts is a milestone in OOH media...

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/AkashBanerji.jpg?itok=tQ9cR-PH
We aim at building a parent-approved, kids' favourite brand, says Voot's Akash Banerji

MUMBAI: Viacom18’s VOOT is all set roll out a hi-decibel campaign for its kids content segment – Voot Kids. The campaign will have two TVCs in three languages -- Hindi, Kannada and Marathi, depicting six situations.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/21/savlon.jpg?itok=u-yZJbs0
ITC's Savlon campaign bags gold at Cannes

MUMBAI: ITC’s ‘Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks’ campaign has been a big winner at Cannes PR Lions 2017. It has secured top honors with a Gold in the healthcare & wellbeing category. The campaign, conceptualized by Ogilvy & Mather and produced by Good Morning Mumbai, was aimed at...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/21/Gaurav%20jeet%20Singh%20and%20Amin%20Lakhani.jpg?itok=_xNg1fCz
Brooke Bond India’s transgender band sizzles Cannes stage

MUMBAI: After bringing glory to India by winning the Cannes Grand Prix Glass Lion at one of the world’s most prestigious advertising and creativity awards, India’s first transgender band, the Brooke Bond Red Label 6-Pack Band set the stage ablaze, with their live concert at Cannes this evening....

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/21/Rajiv%20Shah%20and%20Mukti%20Kumaran.jpg?itok=lB3UrCEq
MEC India pockets NMIMS media mandate

MUMBAI: MEC India has won the mandate to handle all media buying and planning for NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education (NGA - SCE). The appointment was the culmination of a competitive pitch process against undisclosed agencies. The account will be handled by MEC’s Mumbai branch.

MAM Media and Advertising Account

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories