Event Title

Gender Representation in Toy Advertising

Presenter Information

Kathryn L. CantrellFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sabrina Habib-Williams

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Mass Communication

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

Start Date

22-4-2016 12:40 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 12:55 PM

Description

The present study examines how toy advertisements are directed at children, with a specific focus on gender representation, through a review of existing literature. Since the 1950s, advertisements have been saturated with stereotypes. Over the years, females have transformed from being represented as domestic nurturers to beautiful princesses, and males from industrial workers to super heroes. These stereotypes are perpetuated in girls’ versus boys’ advertisements, by factors such as the location of the ad, the way characters interact with each other, and the type of toy advertised. Even technical aspects, including voiceovers, camera angles, and soundtracks, reinforce stereotypes. Although the majority of analyzed studies occurred in the United States, research is also included from Spain, India, and the United Kingdom. Consistencies are found across all studies regarding stereotypical characteristics in advertisements. Opponents of gender stereotypes in children’s advertisements argue that they are denying children the opportunity to fully explore their talents by telling them which toys are for boys and which are for girls. However, others argue that removing gendered toys would decrease the industry’s profits, because both boys and girls would be buying the same toys. This study will provide an overview of the literature on gender representation in ads targeting children in order to identify trends and opportunities for further research.

Course Assignment

Advertising Copy and Layout, MCOM 349H, Sabrina Habib

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 22nd, 12:40 PM Apr 22nd, 12:55 PM

Gender Representation in Toy Advertising

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

The present study examines how toy advertisements are directed at children, with a specific focus on gender representation, through a review of existing literature. Since the 1950s, advertisements have been saturated with stereotypes. Over the years, females have transformed from being represented as domestic nurturers to beautiful princesses, and males from industrial workers to super heroes. These stereotypes are perpetuated in girls’ versus boys’ advertisements, by factors such as the location of the ad, the way characters interact with each other, and the type of toy advertised. Even technical aspects, including voiceovers, camera angles, and soundtracks, reinforce stereotypes. Although the majority of analyzed studies occurred in the United States, research is also included from Spain, India, and the United Kingdom. Consistencies are found across all studies regarding stereotypical characteristics in advertisements. Opponents of gender stereotypes in children’s advertisements argue that they are denying children the opportunity to fully explore their talents by telling them which toys are for boys and which are for girls. However, others argue that removing gendered toys would decrease the industry’s profits, because both boys and girls would be buying the same toys. This study will provide an overview of the literature on gender representation in ads targeting children in order to identify trends and opportunities for further research.