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Hello, I am doing a presentation on the "traditional" gender roles women are still being subjected to in advertising. I am, however having a dificult time finding information. If you get the opportunity could you please send me any information or opinions you might have. Thank you very much. Sincerly, Greg


Yes, women are clearly subjected to "traditional" gender roles in advertising -- although less "traditional" than "stereotypical." You should check out Ms. Magazine whose last page--"No Comment"--documents these very ads. (Of course, Ms. is able to do this only because they are an "ad-free" magazine.) To learn some of the history behind how these ads are not only "misrepresenting" women on a visual level, but also encouraging the same misrepresentation in the editorial content of magazines, check out Gloria Steinem's article, Sex, Lies and Advertising.

To find out more about "what's wrong" you should also check out Where The Girls Are by Susan Douglas and Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth. I think there is also an organization called Advertising Women of New York - which is hopefully working on "what's right." For other hopes of "righting these wrongs", more and more women are reaching top positions in advertising firms, so maybe this will give us hope of having more accurate representations of men and women.

The good news is that advertisers are also coming out with some great ads, which take us beyond these "gender roles"--like the Nike ad about girls' sports. Good luck on your project and I hope this helps.


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