Gender Roles In Moderen Advert Essay

1712 words - 7 pages

Commercials on television tend to portray stereotypical roles of gender. ³The effect of television imagery can be particularly consequential in modern industrial societies like the United States, where 98% of households have at least one television set and the average American watches over 30 hours of television each week²(Coltrone, Adams 1997, 325). These images do not create an accurate image of the modern woman, often demeaning their role in society. Females are depicted as attractive sexual objects, obsessed with appearance and dating; while men are more likely to be shown as aggressive and powerful, accomplishing some all important task(Ruth 1995, 388). Different gender stereotypes are portrayed at different times of the day and evening in order to target certain audiences. All of these images portray different levels of traditional gender roles. Often these differences are not discrete, ³Men are generally thought of as independent, objective, active, competitive, self-confident, and ambitious; while women are seen as dependent, subjective, passive, not competitive, lacking self-confidence and ambition²(Coltrane, Adams 1997, 325). Women / mothers are more likely to be watching television during the day, therefore advertisements tend to target the typical American housewife(Craig 1992, 209). During soap operas commercials go beyond matching a product aimed at a housewives particular needs, they portray stereotypical roles they should sustain. Daytime advertisements on television tend ³to portray men in stereotypical roles of authority and patriarchal dominance², while women are associated with traditional roles of the American housewife(Craig 1992, 209). Females are shown maintaining the perfect household, with their primary goal being to take care of their husband and or family(Nemi 1997). Housewives are seen as happy to serve others and to relinquish their spare time and personal needs; all in an effort to insure that their families feel loved and cared for(Niemi 1997). Throughout out day time commercials there are never any connotations of single families(Niemi 1997), which in reality being a single parent is a common occurrence. Some advertisements may even play on a women's guilt and insecurities, showing them that by using their product it will help them maintain the perfect household(Niemi 1997). These advertisements tend to be conservative, showing a females existence completely dependent on her family(Niemi 1997). During the day women are completely defined by the services they provide; a clean home, prompt meals and a caretaker(Niemi 1997). Females are never defined by their intellectual skills outside the home(Taflinger 1996). These commercials generally show women in a position of cooking, cleaning, child care and maintaining an attractive appearance( Craig 1992, 209). ³ Men are portrayed as the primary charter in less that half of these commercials...when they do appear...[they are...

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