Gender Stereotypes in the Hong Kong Media: A Scoping Study

A report conducted by TWF and supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission that explores the potential associations between the portrayal of women and men, girls and boys in the media and the ensuing perceptions and behaviours of media consumers through a comprehensive literature review.

Key findings:

  • Gender stereotyping and social expectations: Gender stereotypes are very prevalent in Hong Kong and are exacerbated after watching certain television programmes for both sexes. There is also pressure on working women to fulfil a dual role both at home and in the workplace.
  • Body image issues: Women who were saturated in media that idealised specific body images and behaviours were more likely to exhibit self-deprecation.
  • Limited female role models: In advertising, women were often depicted in domestic roles and gendered professions such as nurses and secretaries.
  • Greater permissiveness in sexual coercion and higher proclivity towards sexual harassment: There are positive correlations between young men viewing pornographic material and the acceptance of negative stereotypes of women and proclivity toward sexual harassment. Young women’s exposure to pornography also correlates with finding sexual coercion more permissible in relationships. 
  • Insufficient available research: In comparison to international literature, there is a paucity of quantitative, longitudinal research, making it difficult to assess the depth of media’s influence.