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Stereotyping of Gender in Advertisements


The advertising industry is one of the prime culprits in promoting stereotypical gender stereotypes and specific gender roles. Advertisers don’t shy away from promoting gender stereotypes because they make their cash register ring. I would argue that the advertisement industry is obsessed with gender, mainly because gender roles can be used to establish relations of one gender with another.

There are plenty of vintage advertisements that show men as big, tall, assertive, in dominant positions and women as small, submissive, affectionate, and lovely, never complaining to their male counterparts.


Today’s advertising inherits the same stereotypes from the 1950s. Women are shown in homes, and men are shown outside of homes. Men are advertised as breadwinners and women as homemakers. Let’s take examples of ads from specific industries.

Cleaning ads are no stranger. Here’s a Bonus ad that shows how women are induced with satisfaction when husbands admire the cleanliness of clothes.


The female characters are heavily used in fashion and beauty advertisements with impossible beauty standards and ideal body types. The advertisement industry doesn’t realize that they are limiting men and women to specific roles, trapping them inside bubbles. Long-term exposure to these stereotypes could result in distorted perceptions about genders and gender roles.



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Advertisements do a play a great role in reinforcing the gender roles that have been established within our societal realm since a very long time. Even though such problematic norms still exist within the West, their advertisement industry has significantly progressed from such sexist themes on a relative scale. However, it seems that the Pakistani advertisement agencies are still adamant on producing the absurd advertisements where the entire identity of being a woman is restricted to a homemaker whose happiness relies on how clean the dishes are or how stain-free the laundry turned out to be. From Surf Excel to Ariel, from Shan masalas to National masalas, the idea that a woman is only desirable if she cooks good food,…

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I agree that gender roles are poorly represented in local & international advertisements. However, I do think that brands are more receptive to criticism now and are often willing to tweak their advertisements to make them more socially correct. But, this change requires social resistance that starts at an individual level.

An example is when Meghan Markle at he age of 11 stopped the circulation of a sexist advertisement of a Proctor & Gamble product by calling them out. She was struck by an ad for Ivory Soap, which showed a sink full of dirty dishes, with a voiceover saying, “women are fighting greasy pots and pans with Ivory Soap.” The dishes were conveniently accompanied by a woman’s hand, wearing…


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Khubaib Riasat
Khubaib Riasat
15 Δεκ 2021
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Also I would like to add something. In Pakistan's media industry, PEMRA plays a vital role. It is cautious enough to prohibit specific dramas and advertising that contain vulgarity or romanticism, but no action is done against advertisements and dramas that represent traditional gender roles. The main reason for this is a lack of understanding in our sector that women aren't only designed to be housewives. Men have an unrealistic view of women's role as a result of this. Advertisement creators should be conscious of the ramifications of their work.

Due to serious violations, gender stereotyping in marketing has been outlawed in the United Kingdom.

Pakistani media regulators should take intentional action to eliminate gender role screening in many forms,…

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I agree with the portrayal of certain stereotypes in the advertisements. If a woman is shown serving the man of his house all the time, definitely it would affect us. However, this effect can be in our subconscious as Kellner and Share (2005) point out that ‘individuals are often not aware that they are being educated and constructed by media culture, as its pedagogy is frequently invisible and unconscious” We can see around us nowadays, young man who are about to get married or have recently married have similar expectations from their spouses. And if women failed to meet these expectations, they are often taunted as “What kind of woman you are?” Society has been educated by these ideals represented…

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