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Gender Stereotypes and Their Role in Advertising

In modern times, the world is filled with advertising; it is found everywhere – on television, on the radio, on the Internet, on the street, in newspapers, and in magazines. Now it is difficult to imagine life without advertising, the role of which in the modern world is difficult to underestimate. With its impact, every modern person is immersed in a dense information field that is created through the mass media. From everywhere, they hear advertising offers that offer a particular product. Often people make rash and unnecessary purchases under the influence of advertising.

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I chose these advertisements because they all touch on the problem of sexism and gender stereotypes. In modern society, there is still a principle of building advertising on gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes mean generalized ideas about the features of appearance and behavior of different genders, as well as about their expected social role from them. Thus, the advertising of L’Oreal’s The Waterproof Experience begins with the phrase “women like to express their emotions”, which implies that only the female sex is inclined to be sentimental and emotional, which is fundamentally wrong. Besides, the Tide Plus ad shows that the role of the father and mother in the family is distributed unevenly. Fathers are shown to be clumsy when performing household duties, and women seem to be getting used to communicating with their children. The aspect of unfair and incorrect attitudes towards genders intrigued me the most.

As already mentioned, I have noted gender stereotyping concerning the roles of men and women in society. This also applies to the expected norms of behavior; for example, men are strong, and women are emotional and weak (Zawisza et al., 2016). However, the secret of the success of the bulk of advertising products aimed at selling not so much a product as a lifestyle will depend on addressing these well-established prejudices. The nature of advertising, its content and its form are undergoing drastic changes along with the development of society, and the change in socioeconomic formations.

The primary audience of the advertising I have chosen for the project is mainly women. These can be both female housewives and young girls who pay much attention to their appearance. The success of any business aimed at a female audience depends on how much it will be possible to win women over to a particular product. For this reason, advertisers resort to using gender stereotypes that women cry more than men; they are mostly housewives and are better at raising children.

As for the nature of relations between people in advertising, it can be noted that all human interactions look unnatural. They are exaggerated to an ideal that is impossible to meet in real life. Moreover, men, unlike women, are not so globally identified with the manifestation of gender. Their behavior is instead an expression of their social status and personality. Women, on the other hand, express their gender identity to a greater extent in the advertising and physical language: their behavior indicates their social status less; first of all, it is interpreted by taking into account sexual perception.

In advertising, the product being sold is the best possible option that a person can find on the market. Advertisers do everything to attract public attention to their product or service, using memorable songs, slogans, or images. I believe that advertising has a direct impact on my decisions as a consumer. If I see that some celebrity that I like will advertise a particular product, I will be immediately interested in it. However, advertising can influence consumer choice by providing consumers with true or misleading information that affects their preferences. The importance of advertising for the study of consumer behavior demonstrates how sellers try to change consumer tastes and preferences in their favor.

Questions that are relevant to human behaviors and I would like to get an answer to during this course are:

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  • What is the impact of looks and physical appearance in society?
  • What is the attitude towards stereotypes about women and men and their role in society? What are the social, political, and economic problems that are caused by stereotypes?
  • What are racism’s effects on beauty standards?

The relevance of this topic lies in the fact that for greater effectiveness of the advertising campaign, companies use gender and racial stereotypes in it. This helps to influence an ordinary person imperceptibly, on a subconscious level.

The question about advertising that I, as a sociologist, could try to answer is: Why do gender stereotypes play such an essential role in advertising? Gender is constantly influenced by both cultural norms that establish what men should do and what women should do and social information that inspires people to how big the difference between men and women is. My observations show that advertising can rightfully be considered one of the most aggressive gender technologies. In the course of social communication, advertising symbolic representations of femininity and masculinity conveys information about the characteristic features of interpersonal relationships between men and women inherent in this culture, making some adjustments to the gender stereotypes of the audience.


Aramendia-Muneta, M. E., Olarte-Pascual, C., & Hatzithomas, L. (2020). Gender stereotypes in original digital video advertising. Journal of Gender Studies, 29(4), 403-419.

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