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Gender Roles in Advertising Little Sally 6 and Billy 8 are sitting down in front of the family television for an afternoon of enjoyable programming Suddenly an advertisement interrupts their favorite show The advertisement features a young woman cleaning a kitchen with a product that seems to be easy and enjoyable to use The woman is smiling through this chore as she turns to the camera and comments on how fast the product helped her to clean her kitchen Sally and Billy patiently wait for their show to reappear and pay little attention to the advertisement This is an average scene in any given home in America and yet this seemingly small fragment of time does have a sociological impact Many women and men live their lives without the awareness that advertising has had a socializing impact on them Children and adolescents spend an average of 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television APA statistics Advertising pops up approximately 3 to 5 times an hour or more this was just my observation So within these 22 to 28 hours per week children see a conservative average of 60 to 140 advertisements Advertising places genders into given roles and help to perpetuate gender stereotypes A social theory that would explain the socializing effect of advertising upon children and therefore men and women is the Social Learning Theory This paper will explore the gender roles within advertising and use the Social Learning Theory to evaluate the effects of advertising The first aspect that will be explored is the socializing effect of advertising upon girls or future women How are women represented in advertising An article by Children Now titled Advertising Images of Girls and Women brings to light the issue by including several studies in the article A study by Dr Lois Smith professor of Marketing University of Wisconsin used a comparison of findings
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