Gender Portrayal in Advertising: Another Role of the Dice
It has been reported that, in the past, the way in which women have been portrayed in advertising has been demeaning. Countless ads have portrayed women as passive, deferential, unintelligent, shy, dreamy, gentle, likely to be manipulated, helpless, and with body language depicting psychological withdrawal, submissiveness and supplication (Browne, 1998). Men, on the other hand, have been portrayed as constructive, powerful, autonomous, achieving, and their body language denoted power, control and dominance (Browne, 1998). This paper reports on the exploratory findings of a research project concerned with community perceptions and attitudes towards gender portrayal in Australian advertising. On the subject of stereotyping and portrayal of women in advertising, it is significant that these issues were not ‘top of mind’ for any of the focus group participants. However, an interesting and important finding from the focus groups was the perception that it is men who have increasingly become the objects of unfavourable portrayal in advertising, rather than women. Indeed, group discussions on the stereotyping of women in advertising were more muted than those concerning men. The overall impression was the positive portrayal of women in ads. This paper makes a contribution to role theory.
2002 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC), Melbourne, Australia 2-4 December 2002
Proceedings of the 2002 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy / R. N. Shaw, S. Adam and H. McDonald (eds): pp.61-67