"Stereotyped Women in Advertising"

Essay by lovemd96University, Master'sA+, June 2002

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Stereotyped Women in Advertising

For my research of gender roles in today's society, I decided to take a look at how men and women are portrayed in advertising. I watched three hours of prime time television commercials to see which products were directed at which gender. I developed criteria for my research to distinguish between commercials of and for men and commercials of and for women. I looked at location (inside or outside of the home), roles (professional, domestic), product type (home, child, outdoor, car), and gender of central character and whether or not they had a spouse and/or children present. My secondary research came from journal articles published on the same topic and from our class textbook.

The first criterion I focused on was the role of families in the commercials. Most commercials consisting of families were either for home products, such as laundry and cleaning items and food, or for child products, such as children's medicines and children's toys.

I found an article written by Jason Low about portrayal of women in sexuality and marriage and family textbooks: a content analysis of photographs from the 1970s to the 1990s from the Internet that will help us understand this better. "Not only are women underrepresented on television, but in advertisements, they are more often associated with domesticity and inexpensive products associated with appearance." Here is another example from the same article, also written by Jason Low, "Women in radio commercials are also more likely to be portrayed in dependent roles and in the home." Also, from the same article by Jason Low, "Gender role content analyses of magazines also reveal that the primary concerns of women are with regards to appearance, household activities and romance." Of these commercials I found that the majority of interaction with the children...