Pharmaceutical companies spend considerable amounts of revenue on advertising; therefore, media networks must portray an agenda which supports those companies. This thesis attempts to discover if and to what extent women are marginalized by the promotion of hormonal birth control. Particular focus is placed on the link between these drugs and breast cancer risk, as well as the existence of gendered messages. Framework for the study is established through Agenda-setting Theory and Marxist and feminist criticism. Media messages about birth control are then interpreted through content analysis. Only 9% of messages about female birth control mention the link with breast cancer, and about 15% of messages which target either gender do not discuss any adverse effects. These results show the prevalence of misleading media messages about these drugs, and confirm earlier theories which criticize the media for containing gender bias. Further research could measure the degree to which media messages about birth control affect the healthcare practices of individuals.
|Advisor:||Caputo, Dr. John, Crandall, Dr. Heather|
|Department:||Communication and Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Communication, Mass communications, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Agenda-setting theory, Birth control, Breast cancer, Communication ethics, Gender bias, Pharmaceutical advertising|
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