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Gendered Advertising to Children: An Analysis of Differences in Male- and Female-Targeted Television Commercials

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Children are impressionable customers, and the media they consume influences their behaviors and perceptions. Gender stereotypes are highly prevalent in children’s media, which can often lead children to create idealized images of what boys and girls should be. This paper explores advertising in children’s television commercials given changes in our society promoting gender equality. Researchers studied commercials from 20 different television programs for children to find differences in male- and female-targeted advertisements. Commercials were coded for product characteristics, characters, and commercial logistics. Results show that children’s television networks primarily air male-targeted commercials. Additionally, female-targeted commercials were more likely to involve spokescharacters, and gender stereotypes for both boys and girls were most prevalent in female-targeted commercials.

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  • 04/20/2018
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