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Gender portrayal of US children

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Title: Gender portrayal of US children


1
  • Gender portrayal of US childrens television
    commercials 50s and 60s
  • Kara Chan
  • Hong Kong Baptist University

2
  • gender role portrayal on television programs and
    advertising content as major source for
    childrens gender role socialization
  • Gender stereotyping existed in
  • ?the portrayal of roles and activities of
    boys
  • and girls
  • ?the location of the setting
  • ?the reward types

3
  • Previous studies
  • Studies of gender role stereotyping of
  • children commercials dated from 70s
  • Patterns (70s to early 90s)
  • Research on gender portrayal
  • ?male dominance in number and in voice-
  • over authoritative role in product
  • endorsement in outdoor setting more
  • cuts, loud music and active playing
  • ?females in home setting more fades and
  • dissolves, soft music and quiet play

4
  • Historical perspectives
  • 1950s a decade in the development of marketing
    to children
  • 1968 Action for Childrens Television group
    lobby on restriction of host selling
  • 1975s the National Advertising Review Board
    developed a self-regulatory checklist for gender
    portrayal

5
  • Content Analysis
  • Chulay and Francis (1974) TV ads orienting girls
    to accept traditional feminine roles, as a wife,
    a mother, or a sex object
  • Seiter (1993) boys toy commercials depicted
    conflict, pursuit and competition girls doll
    commercials focused on care of family members,
    clothing and home-making

6
  • Kline and Pentecost (1990)
  • ?play groupings play with same sex
  • ?play styles girls interacted with boys
  • identified with
  • ?linguistic theme scripts for boys ads
  • emphasized power, control, domination
  • scripts for girls ads emphasized
  • motherhood, relationship, glamour
  • and attention to physical appearance
  • Dominance of male voice-over myth of male voice
    more authoritative

7
  • Research question
  • How were males and females portrayed in children
    commercials in the 50s and 60s?
  • How does the gender portrayal differ with those
    found in the 70s to 90s
  • Method Content analysis of TVC

8
  • Sample
  • N341, unduplicated
  • 13 tapes of kids commercials in the Television
    Commercial Archive, Video Resources New York
    (tapes 2,4,6,8,10,12)
  • Included toys, breakfast cereals and snacks
    commercials
  • Convenient sample

9
  • Two levels of coding
  • Each commercial, code
  • ?Product category, product gender-type,
  • sex composition, sex of voice-over,
  • location of setting and reward type
  • Each central character (a child, adult, or
    cartoon human character appears most), up to two,
    code
  • ?Sex, age, role, activity, whether he/she is
  • authoritative
  • ?1/10 of sample coded by a second coder,
  • inter-coder reliability ranged from 0.9
    to 1

10
Table 1. Sample profile (N341)
11
Product gender type
  • 82 (24) for boys
  • 48 (14) for girls
  • 211 (61) for both
  • For neutral ads, 94 features both sexes, 90
    features males only

12
Ad orientation trend
13
Voice-over
  • 69 use male voice(s)
  • 6 use female voice(s)
  • 24 no voice over
  • 1 use male and female voices
  • Commercials for gender-neutral products used male
    v-o or no v-o

14
Voice-over trend
15
Central characters
  • 307 out of 341commercials with CC
  • Altogether 593 CC coded
  • 402 male CC (68), 191 female CC (32)
  • 63 (11) authoritative figures, (14) male
    authoritative figure, 5 female authoritative
    figure

16
Central characters trend
17
location
  • All commercials mainly home and outdoor
  • Commercials for girls mainly home and studio
  • Commercials for boys mainly studio and outdoor

18
Reward type
  • Mainly pleasure and practical
  • Commercials for girls pleasure (94)
  • Commercials for boys pleasure (56) and
    practical (40)

19
Discussion
  • 50s-60s Strong male dominance in terms of ad
    orientation and composition of characters
  • 50s-80s male to female characters ratio kept at
    21, more balanced in the early 90s
  • commercials in the 50s and 60s were
    gender-stereotyped
  • The slow in change of the gender-stereotype
    images
  • Implication for advertisers be more sensitive to
    the gender portrayal

20
Further research
  • A greater sample allowed to generalize the
    findings to all childrens TV commercials from
    the era
  • Interviewing advertisers and creative personnel
  • ?reasons for the change or lack of
  • change in their gender-role orientation
  • ?their perceived gender roles of children
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