The Influence of TV Advertising on Gender Identity

Essay by anacondaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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Television is the industry which most commonly guilty of perpetrating gender roles and stereotypes. Very sharp contrasting stereotyping of gender roles on television can be noticed in commercials and advertisements. Gender stereotypes can also be found in children's TV programs. Television fails to represent the world realistically to its viewers.

Daytime advertisements on television tend to portray men in stereotypical roles of authority and patriarchal dominance, while women are associated with traditional roles of the housewife. Females are shown maintaining the perfect household, with their primary goal being to take care of their husband and or family. 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).

Men are portrayed as the primary charter in less than half of these commercials. When they do appear they are shown as a celebrity spokesperson, husband or professional (Craig 1992, 209). These images may be unconscious internalized by women, giving them the...



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