Online Program

Normalizing violence against men?: Exploring policy to decrease misandry in popular marketing strategies and advertisements

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

James Leone, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES, College of Education and Allied Studies, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
Salvatore J. Giorgianni Jr., PharmD, BSc, 6280 Tidewater Island Circle, Griffon Consulting Group Inc., Fort Myers, FL
Marketing has one dominant goal – get the consumer to buy products. That said several strategies are employed by marketers to promote and ultimately sell their products such as the 4 P’s model (product, price, placement, and promotion). The socioeconomic and competitive context/climate in which products are promoted, play significant roles in crafting messages. One approach used with increasing frequency is product promotion by putting other products or people in a negative context; in this case, supporting misandry and normalizing violence in men to sell products to targeted female demographics. This social erosion of men and masculinity takes different forms including comedy, the “stupid guy” role, “incompetent dad” role, uninformed male, and lacking a general sense of morality in favor of mindless duty. Such blatant examples of misandry and even violence toward men in marketing is increasingly common and becoming even “normalized” due to it being a “low-risk” strategy in contrast to similar principles applied to women. As commercial media messages increasingly support a negative binary of male roles, a negative precedent is set, particularly when planning or delivering effective health promotive public health programs. Viewing masculinity as a liability and using pro- and hyper-feminist strategies and concepts in marketing to capitalize on this is harming men overall and likely undermines public health programs geared toward using masculinity as a positive attribute. The purpose of this session is to identify examples and messaging cues that normalize violence and misandry concepts in popular media, discuss how these messages negatively impact male health using mental health and masculinity concepts as a context, and help public health professionals use media literacy concepts and policy to deconstruct misandrogenistic messages and advertisements to advocate for a more gender-appropriate and responsible approach toward media’s depiction of men when marketing products and services.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least five examples/cues of media and marketing/advertisements that promote misandry and normalizes violence against men. Examine how violence against men through common media examples negatively affect men, their perceptions about family roles and their health outcomes. Evaluate the role of marketing in health behaviors in men. Critique media examples that promote misandry and normalize violence against men by using a media literacy/deconstruction approach. Define practical solutions and policy that can influence marketers and consumers to endorse a more health-positive approach with boys and men.

Keyword(s): Gender, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been researching and writing in the areas of gender and male health for the past decade. I have evaluated and worked on several programs aimed at advancing male health outcomes. I also teach related courses in male health and public health to a variety of audiences and academic disciplines.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.