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Mccoy+lit+review+graded 2

  1. 1. Megan McCoy Dr. Drew Communications 379 February 28th , 2014 Sexism in Advertisements
  2. 2. Every day we are exposed to thousands of advertisements. The idea of advertisements is sell a product and in today’s society, there is a selling idea of “sex sells”. This idea causes sexism in advertisement. The article Are feminists more critical of the portrayal of women in Australian beer advertisements than non-feminists, describes sexism as the “blatant abuse of women in advertising by depicting women’s role in society inaccurately and using women as nothing more than calendar girls and eye catching attractions”. My research is to find out how the sexism in advertisement is affecting how woman are viewed in society. Trends in research on sexism show that women are being portrayed in derogatory ways. The sexism in advertisement causes misperceptions to children and teenagers and is considered to be a contributing factor to girls low self esteem, eating disorders. There is a gap in research on how the sexism in advertisement is affecting woman and how they are viewed in society. From discussion in my gender communication class the idea that “sex sells” is still prevalent and believed to be a good marketing strategy. My research will look at the negative effects of sexism in advertisement and how it is harmful marketing strategy. Jean Kilbourne’s article called What else does sex sell, talks about advertisement not only being sexist but demeaning and harmful especially to children and teens. Kilbourne acknowledges the fact that children are exposed to sexual images in advertising, tv programs, music videos and feel pressure to act and look “sexy” at a young age. The harmful factors include men seeking woman that they see in advertisements and failing because these woman are not portrayed realistically. Another
  3. 3. problem is that advertisements show only young and beautiful people having sex and causes judgment for our own imperfect sex lives. Kilbourne felt it is impossible to measure the extent of sexual images in advertisement a person is exposed to and wanted to focus of the causes. This article is calling for further research in how advertisements affect children. There is no research that links the sex appeal in advertisements to children developing eating disorders, low self-esteem or desire to engage in sex at a young age. It talks about how children are exposed to these kind of advertisements but not the harmful effects it can cause. Advertisement research has mostly looked at the images portrayal of women to find evidence of sexism. Researchers Nancy Arts, Jeanne Munger and Warren Purdy realized there was a lack of research being done in sexism of advertisement when it came to the medium of audio, in television and radio advertisements. They examined the portrayal of gender in advertising, portrayal of women in advertising and the techniques used to avoid gender-bias through past research. They also looked for reasons for the existence of sexism in advertising. They recognized that there are gender biases in language and that it also appears in advertisement. They found that even in woman directed advertisements with woman models there was still a male voice narrator. Even with children Furnham, Abramsky and Gunter study from 1997, found that male children were more likely to appear in television advertisements, even when the product was for girls. 1998 study found that in the U.S. Australian ads had more males than females. There were also some differences depending on the country. Certain places found more female voice overs than male voice overs. National Advertising Review
  4. 4. Board in 1975 made rules for advertisements to stop the amount of sexism. The regulations were “Does my ad use belitding language? Does my ad make use of contemptuous phrases? Is there double entendre in my ads? Does my copy promise unrealistic psychological rewards for using the product?” Since the establishment of these guidelines there has been not much enforcement or change. When it comes to movies men tend to be named before women and the same was found with news anchors. Survey data indicated that most people are sensitive to gender biased language. Universally it has been found that women are being shown as subordinate to men, as decorative objects, or as alluring sex objects. The researchers still feel a lack of conducted research being made for the effects of gender language and the effects of it use in advertisement. There is a lack of research in the bias in language of songs, movies and television language. The researchers also call for more research to be done on exposure effects on children and women’s negative effect on self-concept and how they view themselves. Marian Navarro and Marta Martin were interested in whether sexism in advertising had been studied differently in printed press over television through time. The research was done in Spain and they found that in the 175 articles and research they looked into that it paved the way for the regulations that were put in place by the government to stop sexual discrimination in advertisement. The articles were divided into three categories of characteristics, author and content. Two people spent three months classifying the literature. They did discover a different in the research for press print and television advertisement. The characteristics of the research showed that young people portrayal in advertisement was researched the most leaving gaps for adults and elderly
  5. 5. portrayals to be researched. Research also was found to focus of specific words. The conclusion of the research was that there was much missing in past research that could have help to regulate better government regulations for sexism in advertisement. This is something that could be researched in American culture. Another area of a lack of research is in online advertisement. Images of Women in Online Global Products: Does Sexism Exist?, wanted to make up for the lack of research. The researches recognized that beyond their research there still needs further research in the pretrial of females in online advertising. 1,050 web pages were examined in a four month period of online advertisements. The content was chosen by two elements. The popularity and that it was in English. The researchers established forms of sexism. The first was hostile sexism where women were portrayed as unable to make decisions and easily manipulated. It made woman seem weak. The second form was benevolent sexism making women seem inferior and inadequate. They sorted advertisements by woman in traditional roles, decorative roles, non-traditional roles and neutral roles. This establishment of roles was also something to improve research and was limited before. Out of the 1,050 web pages 600 online advertisements were randomly selected and subsequently coded according to female role stereotypes and intended audiences of web pages. A female and male were trained how to analyze the content. The researchers found that women are most often portrayed in decorative roles and directed to those concerned with physical attractions and sex objects. Women in online advertisements were also often appearing as performers in house tasks. The amount of women in traditional roles in online advertisement was higher than print media. This shows that the
  6. 6. Internet may perceive family values as an appeal to woman online shoppers over sexual images. The research suggested that female audience web pages were likely to show female models in decorative roles supporting sexism and predicted association between male audience web pages and the depiction of women in non traditional roles. Male web pages portray women in dependency roles. Research also supported the notion that general audience web pages were likely to show females as equal to male opposing sexism. There was also an appearance of the “housewife” serotype supporting sexism. Women in online advertisement were mainly portrayed in traditional or decorative roles although some progress was made in the use of non-traditional roles. The results showed a tendency of female-audiences to like decorative female roles. Women were searching for physical attractiveness and sexism is a large part of female audience web pages. In male directed websites woman are shown as dependent roles but in general-audiences they are shown as housewives and equal to men. This study’s results show ethical concerns regarding the portrayal of women in online advertisement. There is an unexplored issue of the negative or sexist depiction of women in advertising having an adverse effect of the image of firms that choose to promote their products with sexist advertisement. Are feminists more critical of the portrayal of women in Australian beer advertisements than non-feminists focused on the relationships between a respondent's level of feminism, their attitudes towards various levels of sexism in a series of advertisements. This was different from the other studies because it brought it the idea of if woman are “feminists” and how that would affect their view on an advertisement. This
  7. 7. study was also different because its respondents were only female university students. They used a focus group to understand how they were influenced. Feminism was measured using the ten-item Bem Sex Role Inventory to identify how they viewed themselves and advertisements. They collected 15-30 second beer advertisements over a two week period. They showed the participants nine advertisements and asked participants to label them as high, medium or low sexism. The researchers also collected 100 surveys, with students evaluating three advertisements that were chosen based of the first groups responses. The researchers were surprised to find that level of feminism did not reflect negatively responses. In general the women liked the advertisements and did not find them sexist. The idea of feminism is not a factor in determining if an advertisement is sexist or not. Feminist and non-feminist viewed the advertisements the same way. Further research could look at how different countries view the advertisements and see if the same results would happen in different places around the world. Sexism vs sexy: the conundrum asks two questions; what consequences does it have for viewers and does it hurt the sales of those products using such depictions. The article talks about sexy ads being men and women enjoying themselves and each other but sexist ads show women as powerless objects to be used by and for the gratification of men. The question is do people perceive it is way? The article acknowledges that sexism in advertisement has been an issue since the 70’s. It discusses boycotting of sexism in advertisements and how it isn’t affective because it was found that 11% of women and 1% of men say that sex in advertising frequently or always directly affects their purchase decisions. A study found that more than 60% of women 35-54 years of age were most
  8. 8. likely to be offended, but 24% of woman aged 18-34 frequently find sexual references offensive in ads. Men, percentages were lower and we not as likely to be offend. Many studies have also reported that the use of sex in advertising is not interpreted in the same way across all groups, cultures or places in the world. This is again calling for further research to establish how sexism is viewed in different parts of the world. How advertisements show sexism in all media forms can affect the ways in which children perceive themselves, particularly their gender roles. There is not enough research to show how advertisements sexism affects gender roles. The more advertisement regulations allow sexism the more likely gender stereotypes will developing minds. The idea of “sex sells” is corrupting the image of women and gender roles. Something that needs to be researched more is how advertisements sexisms communicates to women and children in their idea of gender roles.
  9. 9. References Artz, N., Munger, J., & Purdy, W. (1999). Gender Issues in Advertising Language. Women & Language, 22(2), 20-26. Kilbourne, J. (2005). What else does sex sell?. International Journal Of Advertising, 24(1), 119-122. Lysonski, S. (2005). Sexism vs sexy: the conundrum. International Journal Of Advertising, 24(1), 116-119. Navarro, M., & Martín, M. (2013). Bibliometric Analysis of Research on Women and Advertising: Differences in Print and Audiovisual Media. Comunicar, 21(41), 105-114. doi:10.3916/C41-2013-10 Plakoyiannaki, E., Mathioudaki, K., Dimitratos, P., & Zotos, Y. (2008). Images of Women in Online Advertisements of Global Products: Does Sexism Exist?. Journal Of Business Ethics, 83(1), 101-112. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9651-6 Plakoyiannaki, E., Mathioudaki, K., Dimitratos, P., & Zotos, Y. (2008). Images of Women in Online Advertisements of Global Products: Does Sexism Exist?. Journal Of Business Ethics, 83(1), 101-112. doi:10.1007/s10551-007- 9651-6 Polonsky, M., Ford, J., Evans, K., Harman, A., Hogan, S., Shelley, L., & Tarjan, L. (2001). Are feminists more critical of the portrayal of women in Australian beer advertisements than non-feminists?. Journal Of Marketing Communications, 7(4), 245-256.