Traditional Gender Roles In Advertising

886 Words 4 Pages
It’s no secret that women are often portrayed as conforming to their traditional gender roles in American advertisements. There has been a concern over how women are being portrayed in the media dating back to as early as the 1960s (Bardwick & Schumann). In a study conducted by Bardwick and Schumann, various television advertisements were analyzed for their portrayals of women. The study concluded that women were often shown to be “housebound” and “preoccupied with dirt” (Bardwick & Schumann, p.18). Even today, portrayals of women in advertisements still conform to the stereotype of women being homemakers whose sole purpose, for the most part, is to cook and clean. Various products are guilty of perpetuating this stereotype, but there are specific types of products that tend to exclusively portray women as conforming to traditional gender roles. In this essay I will specifically be focusing on the cleaning product industry and will be analyzing how their advertisements continue to advance the stereotype of women being “housebound” and “obsessed with dirt.”
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Cleaning products, in particular, seem to be the main culprit when it comes to bolstering stereotypical gender roles in advertising campaigns, as we saw with the Swiffer WetJet ad. The portrayal of woman as “happy housewives” is way too prevalent in American media and could possibly have detrimental effects on a woman’s decision making. The effects of these stereotypical advertisements also have the potential to effect equal gender representation in the workplace, as women are severely overrepresented and underrepresented in several industries. Overall, an increasing amount of research corroborates the theory that most female representations in the media, especially in advertisements, conform to the traditional gender roles prevalent throughout American culture and

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