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How Does Media Influence Gender Identity

5 min read

How Does Media Influence Gender Identity – Generation Z consists of tweens, teenagers and young adults born between 1997 and 2012, and what makes this generation unique is its position as the most diverse in terms of race, ethnicity and gender. According to the latest US Census, those under 18 are almost twice as likely to identify as two or more races, and Gen Z is likely to be the last generation to be predominantly white. Many of Generation Z grew up with President Obama in office and witnessed historic events such as the legalization of same-sex marriage. For them, the concept of identity is not simple; Not only do Gen Zers accept and embrace their own differences, but also what makes others different.

Vox Media partnered with Horowitz Research to survey 800 Gen Zers between the ages of 14 and 24 to understand how the intersection of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and other variables affect their perception of identity, the role that means to shape their views and what it takes to build brand trust among this highly informed and connected audience. Gen Zers recognize how powerful media can be in driving acceptance, but feel there is room for improvement in the advertising industry. Media and brands are being responsible for shaping the way society thinks about gender, sexuality and race, and are responsible for creating an environment that promotes inclusion, but this should be done through honest dialogue about the company ethos, supported by policies, practices and real people. In many ways, there are parallels between the way Gen Z thinks about their own personal identity and the identity of a brand.

How Does Media Influence Gender Identity

According to a 2021 Bloomberg article, Gen Z has a disposable income of $360 billion, but their approach to spending is nothing like what we’ve seen from previous generations. It is essential that marketers understand this complex and intersectional generation as they move into place and strengthen their purchasing power. As Gen Z continues to prioritize both self-expression and conscious consumerism, our learnings will provide guidance for brands to build meaningful relationships with young consumers and overcome competing brands whose messaging feels forced, contrived, off-brand, or more restricted with mindset and orientation towards your target track.

Majority Support Parental Notification For Gender Identity

Gen Z self-identifies based on a collection of intersectional attributes and describes society’s labeling as much more enclosed. Gen Z believes that society assigns labels to characteristics such as gender, race, and physical characteristics, while Gen Zs identify themselves primarily based on personality traits, hobbies, interests, and passions. Overall, 66% of Gen Zers say society assigns labels based on demographic characteristics, while 81% prefer to be defined by more personal attributes, such as personality traits or hobbies.

Generation Z’s preference for a more personal construction of identity emphasizes the normalization of an intersectional and multidimensional approach to identity. There is a shift from being told who you are to being asked who you are, with two in five saying labels should be assigned by the individual, not by society.

This shift toward self-identification has implications for marketers. Rather than targeting consumers based on rigid demographics (eg gender, age, etc.), Gen Z expects marketers to consider passion points and communities, which will undoubtedly impact messaging, imagery, brand language, etc. Considering affinities before demographics allows for a more inclusive and dynamic conversation.

44% of Gen Z believe gender is non-binary, compared to 34% who say gender is binary. Most Gen Zers are less attached to labeling historically gendered activities as “appropriate” for just one gender. There is an expectation that regardless of identity, everyone can do the same things, changing concepts of who can be strong, empowered, openly sexual, emotional, nurturing and vulnerable. For example, six out of ten Gen Zers think wearing makeup or wearing dresses is okay for both men and women. This contrasts with Gen Z’s perceptions of what is more socially acceptable.

Social Construction Of Gender: 10 Examples And Definition (2023)

Media, especially social media, has become a catalyst for unprecedented conversations about identity, diversity and inclusion for this generation. Six out of ten Gen Zers believe that the media has had a major influence on the way they think about gender identities and sexuality. Content from media publishers encouraged awareness and exploration and led to acceptance and promotion. More than 50% of Gen Zers acknowledge that media promotes acceptance, which is important since acceptance is ultimately the basis for inclusion. This shows how powerful the media can be to move society forward and promote the alliance.

Besides talking to friends, social media had the biggest positive influence on gender and sexuality views among Gen Z. Social media has more of an impact than physically meeting LGBTQ+ people. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z has the ability to create and share content at the same time. This sense of empowerment associated with being a content creator or influencer fosters a more interactive relationship between the Gen Z consumer and the content they consume. In many ways, social media offers a window to the world, bringing together people who may never meet and passing the microphone to people who have historically felt unknown, which over time promotes awareness and opens minds to new ways of thought

As consumers, Gen Z’s make deliberate purchasing decisions with the intention of having a real impact, be it social, economic or environmental. This generation is leading the charge in conscious consumerism, where brand values ​​stand on the highest pedestal, guiding decisions about both what to buy and what to avoid. Gen Zers recognize that every time they make a purchase they have an opportunity to promote change, so this generation carefully researches and weighs their options before choosing which brand(s) to buy.

According to Gen Z, brands have a specific responsibility to shape society’s thoughts on diversity, including race, gender identity and sexuality. How a brand supports and engages with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives directly influences Gen Z’s perception, attitude and relationship with the brand. One in two appreciates when brands use advertising to help encourage open dialogue between people

Social Media Influence On The World

Therefore, Gen Z has a negative reaction to messages that promote progressive social values ​​that are not intrinsically and authentically connected to a brand’s identity, actions and policies. Less than 40% of Gen Zers believe that advertising is an effective tool that companies can use to correct past mistakes. Even more important, one in two will call brands to compensate if they create advertising that has nothing to do with the brand or its core initiatives. Gen Z expects brands to own who they really are and, if necessary, work to make real changes from within. This generation thinks about brand identity the same way they think about their own identities; brands must be true to themselves and only then will Gen Z truly support them.

Certain types of brands are perceived to have a greater responsibility in shaping the way people think about gender identity or sexuality. Beauty and personal care brands and clothing and accessories brands in particular are seen as having the most responsibility, which is not entirely surprising given how much is related to external appearance and how the body is physically perceived. a person Alcohol brands, financial services brands and automotive brands are thought to have the least responsibility, but there is an opportunity for brands in these categories to rise to the occasion and build a business, offering and marketing that will connect deeply with this next generation of consumers.

As media evolves from its previous role as reinforcers of traditional tropes and instead takes over to raise, shape and define the next generation, brands must carefully choose media partners to demonstrate that they share this responsibility. Effective media partnerships will encourage brands to think about their own identity as if they were human: they need to look in the mirror to understand who they really are and ultimately stand up for their beliefs and tell their story out loud.

While most Gen Z users feel that there is at least some media content that reflects their identity and lifestyle, traditional advertising is less likely to resonate with Gen Z. One in four feel that there is no advertising. that truly reflects the identity or lifestyle of Gen Z. This presents a great opportunity for consumer brands to partner with media publishers who have developed meaningful relationships with the younger generation to build brand trust and authority.

The Role Of Media In Spreading (mis)information On Gender Inequality

Compared to non-users, Vox Media’s Gen Z audience is much more likely to say there is a lot of media content that reflects their identity and lifestyle well. This highlights Vox Media’s efforts to tell compelling stories. It is also a testament to the individual brands within the Vox Media portfolio. For example, according to Gen Z users,

The magazine is perceived to be “on the pulse”, Polygon describes itself as “modern and innovative” and NowThis helps “bring audiences together around a shared passion”.

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