Movie Review: Media Analysis Report on Aging Television Shows

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Media Analysis Report on Aging

Television shows, movies and commercials are a popular media to promote products, communicate information and to influence the attitudes of people who watch them. This makes them a strong source for the establishment of social roles and for shaping the contemporary culture of the American society. They present a repetitive set of messages in different forms to instill the intended ideas on the viewers.

One such idea that is shown repeatedly is the process of aging and the life and thoughts of older people. Unfortunately, this portrayal of older people is negative and is not enjoyable. Though day time television is primarily intended for older people, they perpetuate aging in many ways. There are two negative ways of misrepresenting older people these two ways were identified by twenty-eight different studies that took place in this subject during mid-1990s. Firstly, the true size of the older population was not represented in the media and they were mostly underrepresented. Secondly, negative images of older people were more frequently presented in the media (Nelson, 2004). These older people are portrayed in the news as having a health problem or as suffering from an injury. These issues are shown as a way to attract human interest and public sympathy to increase their viewer ratings.

Another issue is that there are lesser representation of adults in prime time television. Only 3% of adults on prime time television are over the age of 65 and out of this, only 8.8% are in major roles. The plight of older women is worse as they rarely appear on television due to age and gender bias (Nelson, 2004).

There are only a handful of shows and movies that portray this age bias primarily because the society has accepted everything that the media throws on them as an acceptable way of life. The movie Age-Old Friends released in 1989 depicts the life of two friends in a retirement community and their fight for dignity and independence during their older years. This movie sent a strong message to the society about the representation of older people, but unfortunately, it did not create a big impact and the media continues its negative portrayal of older people.

Sexuality Among Older People

There are many theories about sexuality among older people and the way they are depicted in the mass media. There are three different aspects in the sexuality theories and they are (British Geriatrics Society, 2001):

Sexuality does not exist

Sexuality is funny

Sexuality is disgusting

In the first case, most people assume that sexuality does not exist among older people. This is partly because younger people have difficulty accepting that their parents are active sexually. Even nurses who work in retirement homes believe that older people do not have sexual needs. Contrary to these beliefs, when an older person shows an interest in someone else, it becomes unacceptable and a social taboo for the children, relatives and anyone else associated with that elderly person.

In another aspect, sexuality is depicted as a funny joke. Many greeting cards for older people come with sexual quotes or messages. Unfortunately, many of these are even negative as the jokes revolve around the physical weakness and their inability to perform sexual operations. The last depiction of older age sexuality is that it is disgusting. An elderly person who has an interest in sexual life is chastised as a "dirty old man." Due to these factors, the elders themselves are reluctant to express their sexual feelings.

The misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the sexuality of older people is well-brought in the movie Age-Old Friends. In this movie, John Cooper constantly… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Media Analysis Report on Aging Television Shows.  (2012, September 19).  Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/media-analysis-report-aging-television/7712102

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"Media Analysis Report on Aging Television Shows."  Essaytown.com.  September 19, 2012.  Accessed November 20, 2019.
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