Advertising And Gender Roles

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Advertising and Gender Roles Children's advertising reflects the social standings of men and women in society today. Children watch an average of 37.5 hours of television a week and approximately 714 commercials are shown during this time. The majority of these ads strengthen gender stereotypes. Males' ads are concerned with authority, while females' ads are concerned with domesticity. Most little boys' ads revolve around cars, trucks, video/computer games and superheroes. Little girls' commercials promote Barbie and baby dolls, kitchen sets, make-up/jewelry/dress-up sets, and fairy tale princesses. These toys seem harmless to both the child and the parent, but gendered toys have long-term effects. These toys can influence a female's choice in occupation and her opportunities in society.

Occupations are gendered, just like toys. Girls often grow up to be librarians, nurses, secretaries, or teachers, on top of being mothers. In fact, in all of the above listed professions, women occupy 90% or more of the field (Macionis, p.

229). Because toys are meant to imitate, parents are teaching children, through the toy, the defined roles for each sex. Girls have little hope to succeed if their role model is Barbie, the beautiful blonde who, unrealistically, has Grunewald 2 everything she wants (and probably because Ken gave it to her). Maybe when there is a toy that imitates a successful, intelligent woman, girls will be able to rise to the challenge of becoming one too. Until then, "Dr. Barbie"� will have to do.

Toys continue to enforce the inequality of women. Stratification, the system by which society distributes benefits and privileges, answers the question "Who gets the rewards in society?"� The answer is men. Even when it comes to toys, males are offered the dominant roles and aggressive attitudes. When comparing the toys for males and females, it is...