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Advertising And Geder Stereotypes Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

Advertising and Gender stereotypes Being female , it is important to consider the extent our culture encourages us to conform to expectations others may have of us. Stereotypes readily appear throughout everyday life. It is important to recognise the source of such stereotypes to understand why our society remains largely as convention says it should.One key factor in "˜creating our culture' is advertising. "˜A specially constructed information system whose purpose is to influence, teach, train or cultivate the mind and characteristics of youth'.[1] But just how much does advertising portray gender stereotypes and do they offer a true reflection of society? As a young girl it is likely you'd play with dolls. These toys highlight the main aim of advertisements aimed at women. The barbie provides a role model for the susceptible child, and encourages the child to focus on appearance. It is useful to apply Lasswell's model to this circumstance: "˜Who', being the advertisers, "˜says what': girls play with barbies, "˜to whom': Young female children, the channel being some type of advert and the effect being young female children accept this notion and create a role model, on the basis of the adverts connotations. Dolls also present the child with a sentiment of feeling loved when cuddled, reflecting this notion, advertising portrays women as the sex who need to feel loved and later as the sex object. It is important to study the impact of such advertisements, because often children who are exposed to such information during a period of gender identity formation, may adopt aspirations for later life which coincide with preconceptions conceived throughout this period.In adverts aimed at both sexes, women are continually promoted in this way. Kimes and Barious [2] discovered, in adverts the focus for a man was his face, however for the woman it was her body. 65% of a man's picture was devoted entirely to his face, compared to 45% of a woman's. It is also important to note the expression used upon the face, Often the women's is sexually provocative - the appearance of closed eyes and an open mouth connotes the concept of kissing, oral sex or orgasm. In adverts showing the woman's full body, she is often positioned in a pose which signifies sex. Ads are clearly made by men, for men to look at.Throughout advertising, women are predominantly used to signify sex. The connotation of this is not however, in liberating the women's sexuality, but instead in exploiting it, this conveys the notion that a women's sexuality only functions in relation to a man. Chavette [3]found the male stereotype to be "˜sexually aggressive' whereas the female stereotype was deemed "˜sexually passive'. In regarding a number of adverts we are able to recognise this so called "˜dominance' of male over female in relation to sex. In almost every case the male dominates the female, almost governing her sexual actions. I conclude that...

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