Framing and Normalizing Hormonal Contraception in Men's and Women's Magazines: An Ecofeminist Analysis
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Hormonal contraception is widely used by women within the U.S. and is considered to be empowering and beneficial for women’s progress in society. Hormonal birth control is framed as having benefits beyond fertility control, often in ways that medicalize and problematize women’s natural reproductive cycle. This study takes a critical look at the framing of hormonal contraception in both women’s and men’s magazines from an ecofeminist perspective. Articles were gathered from Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health and Maxim and were analyzed through Entman’s four functions of a frame. Special attention was paid to the differences between men’s and women’s magazines. The results show that hormonal contraception is being normalized through medicalizing women’s natural cycle and through naturalizing medical and scientific authority in making health decisions. Men’s magazines discuss contraception far less than women’s magazines, and both continue to place contraceptive responsibility on women.