Essay Example on Gender Stereotypes in the Media An Economic View








Gender Stereotypes in the Media An Economic View AP Seminar 2018 Word Count Introduction When watching television one can quickly see a pattern in the way that companies advertise their products Advertising is defined by Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary as the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements 2017 In commercials traditional girl products such as Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids are most often advertised using only female actors and vice versa with traditional boy products such as Legos and action figures This gender casting enforces harmful gender stereotypes in the media and is shown to be increasing with time Rajecki D W et al 1993 Other problems such as price discrimination can also arise indirectly from using gender stereotypes in advertising Duesterhaus M et al Grauerholz L Weichsel R Guittar N 2011 There are many types of advertisements but researchers from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis and Marian College conducted a study for the Journal of Consumer Psychology that found that companies advertise their products in a way that reinforces gender stereotypes where all boy ads were characterized by a practical subtext boy and girl ads were seen to have a traditional or normative thrust and all girl ads were emotional in tone

These advertisements also have underlying messages for parents buying the toys for the children that these are the proper sorts of toys for children Rajecki D W et al 1993 Messages like these are harmful to young girls and limits what they and or their parents believe to be acceptable for them to buy and use While a lot of the blame of this goes to the companies and advertisers it is also important to understand the correlation between what is seen in advertisements and who is actually buying the products shown It is possible that a young girl could see an all boy ad for a toy and want to buy it but the parent who is buying the toys might not approve of their daughter using a boy product Adolescent girls arguably use media more than anyone else which should not be a bad thing They should be able to watch whatever they want and not be put down by seeing a women acting stereotypically These types of media include television movies and commercials which are all used as a means of advertisement Nancy Signorielli a professor at the University of Delaware who primarily researches television content and how it shapes people s views of reality found that within the most used types of media by adolescent girls categorized as being ages 10 17 women are portrayed as spending much of their time dating and talking about the opposite sex Signorielli 1997 In the long run the way companies use these stereotypes of women being shallow and only caring about having a relationship is harming young girls It can warp their perception of what it means to be a woman and how they act as they grow In addition to companies try to appeal to consumers using these gender stereotypes often times products that are in reality gender neutral that are advertised to men and women separately the cost of the product being advertised to women is higher than the product advertised for a man

 A common example of this is the difference in pricing between women s and men s clothing items such as shirts or pants According to Whittlesey and Carroll women pay more than men for clothes that are virtually the same Duesterhaus M et al 2011 This is price discrimination which is defined as the offering of similar or identical goods at different prices to different buyers by Merriam Webster Dictionary Merriam Webster n d It is not right for companies to be able to charge women more than men for the same products Higher prices on women s clothing is harmful because it puts clothing higher on a young girl s list of priorities than a young boy Companies use gender stereotypes as a way to appeal to different types of people and therefore sell their products The gender stereotypes are often harmful to young girls in the long run because of the way that it makes them see themselves and how the believe they are meant to act Although companies should be held responsible for putting out this kind of content and messages one must also take into account all the other factors like the people that buy these products the actors in the advertisements and other effects that can come indirectly from gender stereotypes References Advertising 2017 In Merriam Webster s collegiate dictionary Retrieved from https www merriam webster com dictionary advertising Duesterhaus M Grauerholz L Weichsel R Guittar N 2011 The cost of doing femininity Gendered disparities in pricing of personal care products and services Gender Issues 28 4 175 191 http dx doi org 10 1007 s12147 011 9106 3 Price Discrimination n d In Merriam Webster s collegiate dictionary Retrieved from https www merriam webster com dictionary price 20discrimination Signorielli N 1997 Reflections of girls in the media A content analysis A study of television shows and commercials movies music videos and teen magazine articles and ads An executive summary Retrieved from https files eric ed gov fulltext ED444213 pdf Rajecki D W Dame J A Creek K J Barrickman P J Reid C Appleby D C 1993 Gender casting in television toy advertisements Distributions message content analysis and evaluations Journal of Consumer Psychology 2 3 307 327 https doi org 10 1016 S1057 7408 08 80019 8

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