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Gender Stereotyping in Children's Advertisements

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Kalie Meyer

on 22 April 2013

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Transcript of Gender Stereotyping in Children's Advertisements

Advertising and the Problem with Gender Stereotyping By: Kalie Meyer What is Gender Stereotyping? A stereotype is a widely accepted judgment or bias regarding a person or group — even though it is overly simplified. Stereotypes about gender can cause unequal and unfair treatment because of a person’s gender. This is called sexism. There are four basic kinds of gender stereotypes Personality Traits Examples of this type of stereotyping include: The expectation that women should be passive and submissive while men are expected to be self-confident and aggressive. Domestic Behaviors Examples of this type of stereotyping include:
Women excelling at cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, while household repairs and yard work are best completed by men. Occupational Positions Until recent times, it was custom for women to hold positions as nurses, secretaries, and hair dressers, while men would take positions such as construction workers, doctors, and scientists. Children & Commercial Advertisement Why is a transformer considered to be a boy toy
and a care bear automatically a girls toy? The answer is gender stereotyping. When children are watching their shows on T.V., they view a lot of advertisements. The majority of these commercials depict children in stereotypical representations.
are presented in "traditional roles" such as cooking and playing house.
They are also shown playing with dolls, makeup and fretting over being beautiful and popular.
Girls in advertisements are portrayed as being cooperative, passive, non-aggressive, and less competitive. Girls Boys Are shown in many advertisements seeking speed, power, and physical strength. The aggressive power shown in commercials is exclusively limited to those targeting males, and these types of ads usually show boys as being more independent than girls.
Often, commercials targeting boys feature sports, racing cars, or action figures with carefully chiseled abs. Girls train subconsciously and unconsciously to wear the color pink in order to look feminine, but pink was actually once a color associated with masculinity because it was considered to be a watered down red and held the power of that color. The change to pink for girls and blue for boys happened in America and elsewhere only after World War II, and in 1914 an American newspaper called the Sunday Sentinel advised mothers to “use pink for the girl and blue for the boy if you are a follower of convention" History Lesson Because of the effects of advertising on consumer preferences, today these color customs are a worldwide standard. "One argument for this occurrence is that peers and parents are more likely to reward children when they imitate same-sex models. Children also generally recall more about same-sex models than opposite sex models. This sex bias is especially true of boys and also especially pronounced when male models behave in sex-stereotyped ways ." Studies Bandura's
Social Learning Theory In 1977, Albert Bandura stated that behavior is learned from the environment through observational learning. Children observe the people, or models, around them behaving in various ways, and these models provide feminine and masculine behaviors that the children can encode and imitate. There are a number of processes that make it more likely that a child will reproduce the behavior that its society deems appropriate for its sex. Gender stereotypes in advertising on children's television in the 1990s: a cross-national analysis A study by Brown in 1998 showed that: "Boys appeared in greater numbers, assumed more dominant roles, and were more active and aggressive than girls."
"In commercials containing both boys and girls, boys were significantly more likely to demonstrate and/or explain the product even when the product used was not sex-typed. Girls were never shown using products designed for boys (e.g., guns or trucks), and no commercials showed boys using products targeted for girls." "Gender role reinforcement was observed at the level of body language and facial expression; girls were portrayed as shyer, giggly, unlikely to assert control, and less instrumental." Content analysis of gender differences in children’s advertising
L.J. Smith, 1994 Smith stated in her article: Several studies have demonstrated that heavy viewers of television hold more traditional gender-stereotyped notions of proper role behavior than light viewers of television, according to a study done by Signorelli in 1989. There has been an increase in the occurrence of aggressive action and violence in commercials. According to a study by Larson, more then 34% of the commercials featuring children and targeting young children included aggression .
Boys are particular targets of aggressive content in marketing and more desensitized to aggressive content than are girls. Gender gap in mathematics and science fields A study of 165 men and women at a northeastern U.S university completed implicit and explicit measures of stereotypes associated with males and science, females and humanities. Also included was gender identity as an association between the concept 'self' and one's own gender, relative to the concept 'other' and the other gender, and reported plans to pursue science-oriented and humanities-oriented academic programs and careers. The study found men were more likely than women to plan to pursue science, and this gap in student’s intentions was completely accounted for by implicit stereotypes.
Implicit gender identity also moderated the relationship between women’s stereotypes and their academic plans, such that implicit stereotypes only predicted plans for women who strongly implicitly identified as female. Gender stereotypes concerning appearance include body ideals such as women being small, dainty, and graceful, while men have to live up to the expectation of being tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular. Physical Appearance Most frequently used words in toy commercials aimed at each gender: Male advertisements Female advertisements The Pink and Blue Project By: JeongMee Yoong The Pink and Blue Project is an exploration of trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children from diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and their gender socialization and identity.

The work by this artist also raises a variety of issues, such as the relationship between gender consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism, the new capitalism and how the differences between girls’ objects and boys’ objects are divided and affect their thinking and behavioral patterns. References (Lane, K) (Mcleod) (Dr. Cullins) Brasted, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sociology.org/media-studies/care-bears-vs-transformers-gender-stereotypes-in-advertisements
Dr. Cullins. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/sexual-orientation-gender/gender-gender-identity-26530.htm
Lane, K., Goh, J., & Driver-Linn, E. (2012). Implicit Science Stereotypes Mediate the Relationship between Gender and Academic Participation. Sex Roles, 66(3/4), 220-234. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0036-z
McLeod, S. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html
Shrikhande, V. (n.d.). (2003). Retrieved from http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-0516103-141609/unrestricted/Shrikhande_thesis.pdf
Yoon, J. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.jeongmeeyoon.com/
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