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Monica Villarreal

on 11 December 2014

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Race and Gender Roles
"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you
... when someone with the authority of a teacher … describes the world and you are not in it, there is
a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing" (Merskin 2008).
Gender and Humor in Modern Advertising
How Advertising Affects Children
Monday, December 8th, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
How advertising affects children's gender and racial roles
Gender role humor in advertisements
Gender stereotypes in radio advertising
Masculinity and magazine advertisements
Gender roles in television advertising
Cross Cultural Comparison of Gender Roles in TV Advertising
Symbolic annihilation
Minority children suffer lower self esteems and higher levels of depression than do White children (Merskin 2008)
Study on content of Cartoon Network identified 0 ads that contained Latino or Native American children in the advertising content
African Americans were only identified in 2% of the ad content
Children have an inability to distinguish between ads and program content
Study shows girls on Turner Cartoon Network are portrayed as passive and almost always remain indoors (Merskin 2012)
Girls are primarily advertised inside, specifically in their bedroom
Boys are almost always disproportionately over-represented
Cable channels such as Turner Cartoon Network are not subject to same FCC content and separation regulations as network television commercials
"Despite the plethora of studies about children and television in the 1970s and 1980s, less attention has been paid to the content of advertising that targets kids since that time" (Merskin 2008)
Early years are critical- children's television exposure begins in infancy and persists through their lifetime
Research shows children (2-11) spend more time observing behavior on TV than in human interactions
Summary: Children and Gender Roles
Radio Commercials
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising Today
A study by Durkin and Hurts (2004) was performed to look into the effects of strong traditional stereotypes when presented to listeners through the radio. After hearing the commercial, listeners were asked to perform a memory task that involved gender stereotyped trait terms. Repetitive gender stereotypes via media proved to promote the accessibility of stereotype-related cognition.
Television Advertising
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising Today
Masculinity and Magazines
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising Today
Hyper Masculinity: "A gender-based ideology of exaggerated beliefs about what it is to be a man."
Four Beliefs: Toughness, Violence, Danger as exciting, Callous attitude toward women and sex.
Some are direct: Fitness and Gaming magazines
Most are subtle: Clothing Mags - up to viewer's interpretation

Gender roles in CURRENT media
"How The Media Failed Women in 2013"
Exemplifies the current issues and stereotypes in various advertising mediums

Who is affected by these advertisements?
Target the young, less affluent, and less educated readers
Social and economic status affect the processing of these ads
Masculinity in Magazines
Women have a job to do.
When women are shown in commercials doing chores, it's serious business.
They've got to take care of things, as that's usually their role.
Why? Well, women have been expected to do this stuff forever.
If women are portrayed "accurately," then they'll be more likely to buy the product.
Bottom line: not funny.
Men have fun being domestic.
Men aren't typically expected to perform household tasks.
To increase relatability, advertisers make it funny!
Laughter makes people more likely to buy things.
Men usually only perform these tasks for comedic effect.
Nontraditional, huh?
Hard at work.
The tides have turned in this video, but that was the point.
The gender roles have been switched, but they have also been strictly adhered to.
Turns out that both men and women respond better to nontraditional roles in advertisements (Eisend, 2014).
Both genders react more favorably toward humorous commercials (Eisend, 2014).
They'll also be more likely to continue to hold this role in real life.
These advertisements influence society and vice versa.
“The depiction of gender and household chores has many important implications for how individuals learn gender roles, including the sorts of activities that individuals are presumed to excel at and the sorts of activities that they seem doomed to fail (Scharrer, 2006).”
men < women
women < men
It's not all about the looks...
Cross-Cultural Comparison of Gender Role
Portrayals in TV Advertising
Gender in Politics
This study examined nearly 3,000 prime-time television commercials in Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Thailand and the US to compare the gender and occupation of the main character in the AD and the gender of the voice-over. The study looked at 3 factors:
1) the Gender Development Index (GDI) of each country
compares life expectancy, education, and income between males & females
the lower the GDI, the greater the gender disparity
displays how political, economic factors can influence gender roles in media
2) Hofstede's Masculinity Cultural Value Dimension
Society's preference for masculine attributes (achievement, material rewards for success) over feminine attributes (cooperation, caring for weak, quality of life)
3) Product type
Females tended to appear in ads that sell home, food, and body products
Males appear in ads that sell automobiles, sports, technology
The original hypothesis that countries with higher MAS scores will show greater gender inequality in Ads did not prove to be fully supported, and presented a more complex picture. For example, although Germany and Thailand are an opposites in terms of their MAS scores, their TV ads showed similar levels of gender inequality with males featured more often in prominent and professional roles than females.
What does this mean??
In the white male dominated advertising industry, there tends to be an over-reliance on gendered product use stereotypes regardless of cultural values or changing gender roles within countries. These gender stereotypes further increase limitations on consumption roles in males and females, which perpetuates the notion that certain genders should have knowledge of certain products and be the the buyer of them. This is displayed in society as it less likely that a woman is the main buyer of a "masculine" product, equipped with knowledge from her own research. Until the industry itself begins to include females and minorities in the creative director positions, advertisements will continue to display gender and racial stereotypes despite a society's values.
Across countries, males were featured in advertising more than females in every country except South Korea, which as low-masculine country values "harmonious gender relations," however they are still portrayed as homemakers and adhere to their traditional roles, which displays the gender gap.
Discussion and Questions
Full transcript