Essay about Advertising And Gender: male Vs Female

3142 Words Mar 14th, 2013 13 Pages
Introduction: Advertising & Gender

The adverts are carefully crafted bundles of images, frequently designed to associate the product with feelings of pleasure stemming from fantasies and anxieties (Craig 1997). Advertising can also be defined as a paid for mass-media communication, and a means of managing and controlling the consumer markets at the least cost (Brierley 1995). It is clear that advertisers seem quite willing to manipulate these fantasies and exploit our gender identities to sell products.

Gender is a social construct, a dichotomy that exists in all societies (Costa, 1994). It is used to describe the socially constructed differences between men and women, referring not only to individual identity and personality, but
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The labels female and male carry powerful associations. Advertisers use the information the labels provide to guide their behaviour toward other people and to interpret their behaviour toward themselves. Sex or gender stereotypes are socially shared beliefs that certain qualities can be assigned to individuals based on their membership in the female or male half of the human race (Lips, 2005).

People adjust their stereotypes of women and men by taking into consideration the roles they occupy: If women tend to be in roles that demand nurturing behaviour and men taking charge, observers will assume that women and men have the qualities required for such roles.

Psychologists have become increasingly aware that physical appearance is a critical aspect of stereotyping. In terms of gender stereotypes, physical appearance may have strong implications for how masculine or feminine a person is thought to be. Although physical appearance is important in both males and females, beauty is generally defined as peculiarly feminine attribute and preoccupation with one’s appearance is seen as part of the feminine stereotype (Ivy & Backlund, 2004).

Stereotypical masculinity, too, is reflected in physical appearance particularly in strength. As Lips (2005) has

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