Gender Stereotypes In Advertising Analysis

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Gender Stereotypes In Advertising Analysis

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Gender stereotypes in Ads

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Each agent reinforces gender roles by creating and maintaining normative expectations for gender-specific behavior. Exposure also occurs through secondary agents such as religion and the workplace. Repeated exposure to these agents over time leads men and women into a false sense that they are acting naturally rather than following a socially constructed role. Family is the first agent of socialization. There is considerable evidence that parents socialize sons and daughters differently. Generally speaking, girls are given more latitude to step outside of their prescribed gender role Coltrane and Adams ; Kimmel ; Raffaelli and Ontai However, differential socialization typically results in greater privileges afforded to sons.

For instance, boys are allowed more autonomy and independence at an earlier age than daughters. They may be given fewer restrictions on appropriate clothing, dating habits, or curfew. Sons are also often free from performing domestic duties such as cleaning or cooking and other household tasks that are considered feminine. Daughters are limited by their expectation to be passive and nurturing, generally obedient, and to assume many of the domestic responsibilities. Even when parents set gender equality as a goal, there may be underlying indications of inequality. For example, boys may be asked to take out the garbage or perform other tasks that require strength or toughness, while girls may be asked to fold laundry or perform duties that require neatness and care.

It has been found that fathers are firmer in their expectations for gender conformity than are mothers, and their expectations are stronger for sons than they are for daughters Kimmel This is true in many types of activities, including preference for toys, play styles, discipline, chores, and personal achievements. Parental socialization and normative expectations also vary along lines of social class, race, and ethnicity.

African American families, for instance, are more likely than Caucasians to model an egalitarian role structure for their children Staples and Boulin Johnson The reinforcement of gender roles and stereotypes continues once a child reaches school age. Until very recently, schools were rather explicit in their efforts to stratify boys and girls. The first step toward stratification was segregation. Girls were encouraged to take home economics or humanities courses and boys to take math and science. Studies suggest that gender socialization still occurs in schools today, perhaps in less obvious forms Lips Teachers may not even realize they are acting in ways that reproduce gender differentiated behavior patterns.

Yet any time they ask students to arrange their seats or line up according to gender, teachers may be asserting that boys and girls should be treated differently Thorne Even in levels as low as kindergarten, schools subtly convey messages to girls indicating that they are less intelligent or less important than boys. For example, in a study of teacher responses to male and female students, data indicated that teachers praised male students far more than female students. Teachers interrupted girls more often and gave boys more opportunities to expand on their ideas Sadker and Sadker Further, in social as well as academic situations, teachers have traditionally treated boys and girls in opposite ways, reinforcing a sense of competition rather than collaboration Thorne Boys are also permitted a greater degree of freedom to break rules or commit minor acts of deviance, whereas girls are expected to follow rules carefully and adopt an obedient role Ready Mimicking the actions of significant others is the first step in the development of a separate sense of self Mead Like adults, children become agents who actively facilitate and apply normative gender expectations to those around them.

When children do not conform to the appropriate gender role, they may face negative sanctions such as being criticized or marginalized by their peers. Though many of these sanctions are informal, they can be quite severe. Boys, especially, are subject to intense ridicule for gender nonconformity Coltrane and Adams ; Kimmel Mass media serves as another significant agent of gender socialization. In television and movies, women tend to have less significant roles and are often portrayed as wives or mothers. When women are given a lead role, it often falls into one of two extremes: a wholesome, saint-like figure or a malevolent, hypersexual figure Etaugh and Bridges Research indicates that in the ten top-grossing G-rated movies released between and , nine out of ten characters were male Smith Television commercials and other forms of advertising also reinforce inequality and gender-based stereotypes.

Women are almost exclusively present in ads promoting cooking, cleaning, or childcare-related products Davis Think about the last time you saw a man star in a dishwasher or laundry detergent commercial. In general, women are underrepresented in roles that involve leadership, intelligence, or a balanced psyche. Of particular concern is the depiction of women in ways that are dehumanizing, especially in music videos. Even in mainstream advertising, however, themes intermingling violence and sexuality are quite common Kilbourne Stratification refers to a system in which groups of people experience unequal access to basic, yet highly valuable, social resources.

The United States is characterized by gender stratification as well as stratification of race, income, occupation, and the like. Evidence of gender stratification is especially keen within the economic realm. Despite making up nearly half Census Bureau Women in the paid labor force also still do the majority of the unpaid work at home. On an average day, 84 percent of women compared to 67 percent of men spend time doing household management activities U. This double duty keeps working women in a subordinate role in the family structure Hochschild and Machung Gender stratification through the division of labor is not exclusive to the United States. When a pattern appears in all societies, it is called a cultural universal.

While the phenomenon of assigning work by gender is universal, its specifics are not. The same task is not assigned to either men or women worldwide. There is a long history of gender stratification in the United States. When looking to the past, it would appear that society has made great strides in terms of abolishing some of the most blatant forms of gender inequality see timeline below but underlying effects of male dominance still permeate many aspects of society. In some cultures, women do all of the household chores with no help from men, as doing housework is a sign of weakness, considered by society as a feminine trait.

Sociological theories help sociologists to develop questions and interpret data. For example, a sociologist studying why middle-school girls are more likely than their male counterparts to fall behind grade-level expectations in math and science might use a feminist perspective to frame her research. Another scholar might proceed from the conflict perspective to investigate why women are underrepresented in political office, and an interactionist might examine how the symbols of femininity interact with symbols of political authority to affect how women in Congress are treated by their male counterparts in meetings.

Yet fields like education and the arts remained heavily female, as few men moved the opposite way. As the Durons and other families have discovered, messages of gender norms trickle down early. In Oregon, Griffin Bates was stunned when the little boy she was raising with her lesbian partner at the time came back from a visit with Grandma and Grandpa without his beloved tutu and tiara. Boys stick with typically masculine toys and games much more consistently than girls adhere to feminine ones, Harvard School of Public Health research associate Andrea L.

Roberts found. Even the criteria for diagnosing gender dysphoria were historically much broader for effeminate boys than for masculine girls. Gender stereotypes do seem to have loosened: The Global Toy Experts survey found that most mothers would let their own sons play with dolls and dress-up sets, even if they shied from buying them for other boys. Parents in some parts of Los Angeles said their boys got barely any flak for choosing pink sneakers or toting dolls to school. And in a recent online survey by advertising agency DDB Worldwide, nearly three quarters of Americans surveyed said stay-at-home dads were just as good at parenting as stay-at-home moms.

Some experts say economic barriers have stopped men from moving further into feminized fields. Jobs held by women tend to pay less, an imbalance rooted in the historical assumption that women were not breadwinners. Women had an economic reason to take many of the jobs monopolized by men, particularly college-educated women trying to climb the economic ladder. Men are still rare in nursing, for instance, despite respectable pay. England and other scholars see that dearth as another form of sexism, in which things historically associated with women are devalued. Men who do enter heavily female fields are often prodded into other ones without even searching, as other people suggest new gigs that better fit the masculine stereotype, said Julie A.

Kmec, associate professor of sociology at Washington State University. And that, in turn, holds many working mothers back, Risman argued. Familiar measures of progress toward gender equality, such as women working in management or men picking up housework, began to plateau in the s. Cohen found that in the first decade of the millennium jobs stayed similarly segregated by gender — the first time since that gender integration in the workplace had slowed to a virtual halt.

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