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Advertising Gender Roles

Decent Essays
Interpretation and Discussion Advertisements shown during television shows reinforce the socially constructed gender roles. These gender roles are learned through social interactions made during early childhood, where children begin to take on the roles of others. According to Henslin in, “On Becoming Male: Reflections of a sociologist on Childhood and Early Socialization”, boys are taught from a young age that their world is different from girls, in that girls have more restrictions and less challenges (2007). Thus, boys were taught that if you act like a girl, you will get shamed, and be called a sissy because girls are of a lower status than yourself (Henslin 2007). Ultimately, boys are taught to conform to the behavior fitting of a man,…show more content…
The advertisements that she studied all had the same patterns, depicting women as sexual objects who were submissive, domestic, and attractive based on male standards (2010). Even though men were sometimes depicted as sexual objects, they were never under the same scrutiny as women. Although people stated that advertisements do not affect them, that they merely tune them out, this notion is incorrect because advertisements are cumulative and subconscious; considering, 8% of the advertisement is taken up by the conscious mind (Kilbourne 2010). Thus, media images do influence the consumer, and makes them believe the gender roles reinforced through the advertisement because that is what their mind takes in subconsciously. Moreover, advertisements act as socializing agents because each gender is expected to act according to their gender role that is society constructed. As noticed in the pampers commercial, the idea behind the mother holding the newborn child reinforces the idea that women are expected to be domestic. Additionally, the same idea is present in the Disney World commercial where the women hold a status as a mother, in which her role is to be a caretaker of her daughter, while her strong husband and son bring the luggage to the hotel. Although subtle, the same message of the man being strong was shown in the Geico advertisement, where there are more men than women riding the motorcycles. However, there was gender role reversal in the Chase bank advertisement, where the man was shown as emotional and intelligent, while the women held the role of intelligent. This reveals the idea that even though there are advertisements that feed into the gender role socialization, there are some advertisements that stray away from this socially constructed notion. Overall, a majority of the
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