Gender Stereotypes In Advertising Essay

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According to Browne (1998), gender stereotypes are general beliefs about sex-linked traits (collections of psychological characteristics and behaviours characterising men or women) and gender roles (activities differentially appropriate for men or women). Advertising is a form of paid messaging to inform or influence viewers. Over the last generation, the gender segregation and stereotyping in advertisements for children, about toys, have grown to unprecedented levels. Does every boy prefer cars to dolls, and girls with dolls to cars? Children are exposed to many advertisements per day, out of which approximately 76 are noticed (Bauer and Greyser, 1968) in mediums like television, Internet, billboards and magazines. Advertising heavily depends…show more content…
Children spend about 28 hours a week watching television (McDonough P., 2009) and out of which, 17 minutes of advertisements are aired per hour (Potter, W., 1998). Therefore, the possibility that children might acquire the negative connotations, which gender stereotypes bring through television advertisements, is high. Television advertisements tend to portray strong gender stereotypes and according to social cognitive theory of gender development (Bussey and Bandura, 1999), viewing gender stereotypical behaviours in the media can influence play in children, but do children who are exposed to these content understand it? Children may be unaware of the subtle personality characteristics associated with gender until they are 10 years of age. However, Williams and Best (1990) found out children at the age of five have formed the concept that women were weaker and more softhearted and men were stronger. Six-year-olds were reluctant to say that Superwoman could do the things Superman could do, and that men could give women pretty gifts but not the other way round, and women are expected to stay home and wash up (Durkin 1984). Huston et al. (1984) discovered that elementary school children were able to understand gender-typed connotations of format features in advertising. If an advertisement features a product designed for a boy, children expect more activity and louder sound effects compared to one meant for a
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