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The social norms of feminine appearance in advertisements

Femininity in Advertising

A lot of research over the years has taken a keen eye to those advertisements to see how they reinforce cultural stereotypes. That website, of course, is just a collection of examples.

Are there data that speak to this issue of stereotype presentation in advertising? Overall, they found reliable evidence the women are portrayed differently than men in ways that conform to traditional gender roles and stereotypes.

  1. Throughout her career, the author has analyzed the women's market, sex-role stereotypes, and how to communicate with women consumers through the media.
  2. We see only part of her soft, pale face.
  3. We can go beyond simple categorizations of portrayed sex-roles by using the approach of the structural semiotician, Boris Uspensky 1973. Concepts such as identity, subjectivity, sexuality can describe gender from a multi-dimensional perspective.
  4. There is thus a lost opportunity to meaningfully address a rich array of issues concerning aesthetics, politics of advertising, symbolic aspects of gender representation, production and reproduction of cultural imagery, and the like. In a modest way, we explore these issues in this session.
  5. In addition to the academic publications just cited, there have been some important contributions from practicing marketing professionals. Indeed, some studies have shown that stereotypes presented in advertising has the power to cause negative outcomes.

Women were 4 times more likely than men to not have a speaking role Women were 3 times more likely than men to be presented as a product user rather than an authority Women were 3. In Thailand, things are this way! Within Europe, one of the most feminine cultures is the Netherlands whereas one of the most masculine cultures in Italy. In a recently published studypsychologists tested whether these two countries would differ in their reinforcement of traditional gender roles in advertising.

For example, one study showed that ads in the Netherlands portrayed women in less sexist ways than in the UK. That is, women were less likely to be portrayed as sex objects and more likely to be portrayed in a working role.

The researchers collected more than a thousand advertisements in total, some from the Netherlands and some from Italy, and they looked to see how men and women were depicted.

In general, women were more likely to be sexualized than men; they were more likely to wear seductive clothing, they were often more attractive than the men in the ads, and they were more likely to be objectified.

As the researchers expected, though, these gender differences were significantly larger in Italian ads. When it came to the roles that men and women played in these ads, though, the story is slightly different.

  1. Every woman was expected to aspire to the goals of the ideal 1950s housewife. The above represent some of the more important reasons why fruitful research in "gender and advertising" has stagnated.
  2. That is, people learn appropriate roles and beliefs by observing how people are portrayed in advertisements. In Thailand, things are this way!
  3. In sum, gender is a complex construction of the social system that defines the relationship between the two sexes.
  4. The study of gender representation in advertising must be grounded in theories of representation applied to other cultural settings like literature, art, film, etc. While there is some common agreement among different schools regarding the goals of the feminist movement, and some schools are closer to others in their overall configuration, there are differences in approaches and philosophical assumptions on gender construction and representation.
  5. Women were 4 times more likely than men to not have a speaking role Women were 3 times more likely than men to be presented as a product user rather than an authority Women were 3.

Throughout the scholarly history of examining stereotypes portrayed in popular media, scientists have wondered what the relationship is between media and society. On the one hand, some people think that the media mirrors culture. By contrast, there are other scholars who maintain that media has the power to mold culture. That is, people learn appropriate roles and beliefs by observing how people are portrayed in advertisements.

Indeed, some studies have shown that stereotypes presented in advertising has the power to cause negative outcomes. Interestingly, some researchers have examined trends over time.

  • Uspensky has outlined a detailed, technical approach to analyzing the author's perspective;
  • The experiences of women from different sectors including small business, public roles and higher education, pointed to how deciding what to wear to work is a strategic decision that can make the difference between being seen as a credible professional or leader, or being marginalised.

One study analyzed thousands of ads over a 50-year span and found that over time, role portrayals of men and women became more equal.

Could these be separate issues altogether? Further research is needed to better understand the role culture plays in these advertising trends. Learn more about social psychology with a comprehensive video course on the subject.

Also check out the courses page for other opportunities to learn about self-control, persuasion, marketing, and understanding yourself.

Culture and Gender Stereotyping in Advertisements

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