The media bring massive impact to society. They influence individuals in their daily lives, including their beliefs and perspective. The effect of media can become frightening. Especially, when it becomes biased and untrue.
According to researchers at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University, the media depicted women's image more negatively than men when it comes to binge drinking.
In the experts' study, they analyzed 308 articles published over two years in seven popular UK national newspapers.
They learned that the media portrayed unpleasant qualities of women who are binge drinkers. Media have focused on physical factors of women drinkers who they mentioned as 'haggard, vulnerable, physically incapacitated and socially transgressive.'
Chris Patterson, from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, said in an interview
, “Media coverage of women’s binge drinking isn’t just about health or public disorder; it also performs a moralising, paternalistic role, reflecting broader social expectations about women’s public behaviour. As well as unfairly stigmatising women, media coverage of binge drinking is problematic in terms of communication information about a serious health issue to the public.
“Evidence suggests that the public view binge drinking as a masculine activity and statistics tell us that men do drink more than women in reality, but the media are depicting a different story. The reason why this matters is that the media have a big influence on how we understand the world, and therefore on how we behave. If audiences take newspapers’ depictions of binge drinking to heart, they could be led to believe that binge drinking is primarily the domain of raucous young women, and that the main threats it presents are to our public appearance, rather than our long-term health.
“It’s vital to clearly define unhealthy behaviours so that we can address them. What is binge drinking, and why is it a problem? If the media feel a responsibility to inform the public, they might seek to help us understand what constitutes harmful drinking, and what the risks of it are, without promoting harmful stereotypes that get in the way of evidence-based facts.”
Clearly, the media missed on informing the public of the more important consequences of binge drinking. Such as, its effect on health on general population.
If only the media uses its power for the right reasons, like spreading awareness about the effects of alcohol on health, rather than exposing biased reports about men and women, the world will be a better place to live. Especially, for the ladies.