The role of gender in society has been a problem since the early 1960s. MEDIA AND ADVERTISING HAS since used methods that elaborate on sex and images and the parts that men and women play in sexual advertising. In the 1960s, advertising constructed women as the “ideal housewife” and these advertisements depicted how women should act and look. Today, advertising has begun to portray women as sexual, passive objects that men are in charge of. Because of the increasing amount of sexual advertising, sexual images and almost nude men and women have become a normality.
Today’s youth and teenagers have become accustomed to seeing sexual advertising that depicts women being controlled, objectified, and bossed around by men. Not only does this present some interesting facts about today’s world and how children are growing up, but it also increases the chances of women being raped. Although it is largely overlooked, a 2010 U. K. study showed that one third of 14 to 16 year olds reported they had first seen sexual images online when they were 10 years of age or younger.
The biggest reason for these typed of advertisement, according to Jillian Richardson from The Wall Street Journal, is because it is a way to get attention. Richardson states, “… The sad thing is that while this kind of advertising was controversial a few years ago, its par for the course nowadays… it’s a way to get attention – and even negative attention is attention”. While these companies are only trying to draw attention to the brands, sexual advertising is so prevalent in today’s society that young children and teenagers find it normal to see sexual images in the world around them.
Obviously, SEXUAL ADVERTISING IS degrading to women and not only effects how women think about themselves but also how men treat them. Because women are treated and portrayed as sexual objects, and not human beings, men treat them as if they are in fact a sexual toy or object. This thinking demeans and dehumanizes women. This kind of advertising has effected the way that both men and women think. Men grow up thinking that women are only there for their sexual pleasure, not as a companion, confidante, or friend.
Women, both the models and the consumers, however grow up seeing these advertisements that depict women as objects of affection for men. Because of this advertising, women degrade and dehumanize their own bodies. Studies have shown that viewing even as little as 30 minutes of programming and advertising with depictions of the ideal-thin type female body causes women to feel insecure and dissatisfied with their own bodies (McGill, 2004). Reports from Jean Kilbourne and other activists cite an alarming trend of objectification and exploitation in advertising.
In many advertisements, women often appear passive and controlled by men, sending a message that this type of interaction is normal and even a desirable feature for women to have. Furthermore, men receive the message that women should act submissive and come to expect that in relationships. Many women degrade their own body type because it does not look like those portrayed in advertising. Much of advertising also cause women to feel as if they have to act submissively towards men in order to be considered sexy or attractive.
Many types of sexual advertising cause men to think that women look like and act as submissively as the women in these advertisements, which may be a leading cause of rape. Advertising does more than promote products. The images that are used in advertising often set the standard to which society feels it must live up to. Advertisements show what the ideal image is, and how to achieve this image. By using sexual advertising and portraying submissive and controlling scenes and pictures, society feels as if it has to live up to these portrayals.
Furthermore, the thinking that women MUST act submissive, and that men expect it to happen that way, MAY BE A leading cause of many rapes and spousal arguments. According to a significant amount of studies, when men view images of sexually objectified women, it has been shown to increase the likelihood that men will rape women, the approval of interpersonal violence, and gender role stereotyping (Stankiewicz J. , & Rosselli F). Many of the sexual advertisements that have become a normality today, may be a big cause of rape and sexual misconduct.
On the women’s part, many feel as if it is impossible to stop the man and may feel like it is ideal to be as submissive as the women in advertising in order to be considered attractive or desirable. On the man’s part, these types of advertisements make many think that women are supposed to be as submissive as those in advertisements. Again, these types of advertisements have become normal to many people today, and cause many men and women to believe that this is what is supposed to happen in a relationship, which is a wrong way of thinking.
Sexual advertising causes a lot of wrong thinking. Not only does it affect adults, but the children and teenagers seeing these advertisements may grow up believing in the same ideals and normality’s, which will only continue the cycle. Therefore sexual advertising SHOULD DECREASE ENORMOUSLY, not only to help how women and men think about and treat themselves and others, but also to help decrease the amount of sexual misconduct charges, body shaming, and degrading of women. Some people argue that men’s bodies are degraded and portrayed wrongly in advertising just as much as women’s are.
While this may be true, men are not used in the same fashion as women are in advertising. Women are more sexualized than men and this type of advertising is becoming normal for today’s society. According to Julie M. Stankiewicz and Francine Rosselli, the exposure of women’s bodies occurred about four times as often compared to the exposure of men’s bodies in magazines. Most of the roles portrayed by women in advertisements tend to be of the negative connotation. In most, if not all, sexual advertisements, women are placed in the inferior or submissive role, which is often characterized by helplessness and vulnerability.
Since advertising is often considered the “ideal”, this only increases women’s, and men’s, belief that this is the way that sexual interaction is supposed to happen. Setting these “ideals” in advertising confirms the idea of gender roles i society. On the whole, over the years the ideal gender roles have changed from men being the moneymakers and women being portrayed as the housekeepers, to men being in charge and in control and women being shown as helpless and objectified towards men. THESE ADVERTISEMETS SERVE AS the example of the ideal ways that men and women are supposed to act.
Many people in today’s society look up to the way that the people act and live in these advertisements, which causes a copy-cat affect. Not only does this make women believe that that they cannot stop the man, but it makes the man feel as if they are not supposed to stop, again, leading to more rape. The way that advertisers characterize men and women in the advertisements has become an influence on modern society. The use of women in advertising has become a common practice, and the advertising most often shows how women should be and how women should be treated.
When women are portrayed in advertising, it is rarely as strong, powerful figures, but rather as helpless, attractive, and dependent on men. The image of women in advertising is quickly becoming a symbol of what the ideal women should be. In conclusion, the role of gender and gender stereotyping has quickly evolved since the early 1960s. Media and advertising HAVE SINCE STOPPED portraying women as the ideal housewife, and HAVE STARTED TO portray women as the ideal sexual partner.
Advertisers use methods that elaborate on sex and images and the parts that men and women play within this. In many advertisements, women are construed as helpless and men as “in control”. Because of the increasing amount of sexual advertising in today’s modern society, sexual images and almost nude men and women have become a normality. Today’s youth and teenagers have become accustomed to seeing sexual advertising that depicts women being controlled, objectified, and bossed around by men.
Not only does this send the wrong message to society and young children, but it also increases the chances of a women getting raped. These advertisements construe men and women’s thinking about sex, and teach them the wrong things and ways to treat each other. The biggest reason for this type of advertising is to draw attention, whether it be positive or negative. Many advertisers and companies do not care for the effects that this type of advertising has on today’s society, because they are only worried about how the products will sell in today’s culture.
The role of women in sexual advertising is demeaning, degrading, and dehumanizing. Not only does sexual advertising teach children and teenagers the wrong things about how men, women, and sex should be treated, but it also effects how women and men think about sex and gender roles within daily life. While these companies are only trying to draw attention to the brands, no one is thinking about the prevalent effect of sexual advertising in today’s society and the way that young children and teenagers will see and perceive these sexual images.