Letter: Gender stereotypes in The Signal

Dear Editor,

The “Guys Decoded” is one article in a long line of problematic articles published recently by The Signal (e.g. “Rape is a four-letter word” from issue 13, “Pour up, drink” from issue number 19). Each of these articles deserves a full response, but here we focus on the “Guys Decoded” article from one of the more recent issues (4/9) because we believe it encourages stereotyped gender roles. For example, the author asserts that man’s natural aggressiveness is an inevitable component of manhood. Researchers have suggested that this construction of masculinity poses a threat to men’s psychological health and may increase risk-taking behaviors. The article perpetuates another gender stereotype, that men do not experience emotions in the same way as women. However, research has shown that men with higher levels restrictive emotionality report higher levels of depression than men with less and are less likely to seek professional help than men with lower levels of restrictive emotionality.

These are just two examples of the gender stereotypes present in the “Guys Decoded” article, and traditional gender roles such as these pose a danger to both men and women. Not only does it limit the range of behaviors men can exhibit, no crying or working things out peacefully fellas, but it also poses a danger to women. A strong belief in gender stereotypes is a predictor for both dating violence and sexual assault. Did you know that one out of six American women experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault? Did you know that one out of five college students experience some form of dating violence ranging from a slap to life-threatening violence? These are the issues that students need to know about. Articles spouting gender stereotypes perpetuate problems like sexual assault and dating violence instead of taking a stance and addressing them head on. As the official student newspaper, The Signal has the power to begin a healthy discussion about sexual assault and dating violence, bringing awareness to the student population instead of maintaining hackneyed ideas of how men should interact with women and other men.

– Amy Gregg 

President, UPROAR


Editor’s note:  The stories referenced above (“Guys Decoded,” “Rape is a four-letter word,” “CDC: College-aged women are the largest binge drinkers in America”) by Amy Gregg were produced in April 2013, November 2012, February 2013, respectively.

1 Comment

  1. I would like to hear the full response to “Rape is a four-letter word,” (https://georgiastatesignal.com/rape-is-a-four-letter-word/) since I would argue it does address sexual assaults “head on.” The open records reports in the article addressed male/female sexual assault because there was no reported cases of sexual assault victims being male students at the time of that article’s publication. I am confidant that men being victims of sexual assault is a very real thing on college campuses, although there was no documentation at that time to support it.

    Other than this example, I would like to know what was perceived as a stereotype so I can critique my own reporting.

    I thrive on feedback, positive and negative, and it is my understanding that The Signal continues to as well.

    Terah Boyd, Signal News Editor, 2012

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