How Is the Stereotypical Role of Women Promoted Through U.S. Magazines in the 1960s?

2944 Words Oct 7th, 2012 12 Pages

It has been verified from research that women’s magazines during the 1960s portrayed women in a sexualized or old-fashioned manner. On the other hand, the Feminist Movement had already begun in the start of the century and was ongoing and at its peak at the time. Additionally, research conducted in more recent decades shows that despite the ongoing feminist movement, which supported that women should have equal rights and should be treated with the same respect as men, women’s magazines promoted an old-fashioned image of women. This role that had been attributed to the post-war women consisted of the woman’s position being in the house, taking care of the children, waiting for her husband to come home from work, and not being
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In later decades, researchers conducted studies in order to validate that women were actually represented in the press in ways that were not respective of the women in the 1960s. The first study that addressed women’s representation in magazines was conducted by Courtney & Lockertz in 1971 . The researchers focused on advertisements in magazines and the main conclusions were the following:
• women’s place is at home,
• women don’t make important decisions or do important things,
• women are dependent and need men’s protection,
• men regard women as sex objects and are not interested in women as people.
It was not uncommon to stumble upon advertisements that included phrases such as ‘A good wife and mother would buy this’. Additionally, they found that 90% of the times women were depicted in advertisements they were shown in ‘non-working roles in the home’ which consisted of child rearing and unpaid work at home. In reality women had started to work more than before, despite the unequal opportunities and the lower wages they had in comparison to men. Another study conducted by Busby and Leichty in 1993 shows that the percentage of women in advertisements that have a “decorative” role went from 54% in 1950-1951 to 73% in 1989. There have been numerous other studies conducted which are similar to this one which also show that women are more likely to be seen in magazines as
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