Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 192-207

First online:

Examination of Gender-role Portrayals in Television Advertising across Seven Countries

  • Hye-Jin PaekAffiliated withDepartment of Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing, College of Communication Arts & Science, Michigan State University Email author 
  • , Michelle R. NelsonAffiliated withDepartment of Advertising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Alexandra M. VilelaAffiliated withDepartment of Mass Communication & Communication Studies, Towson University

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This study examined the roles of cultural (Hofstede’s Masculinity value dimension—i.e., Gender of Nations), country-level (Gender-related Development Index), and execution-level (product type or gender of the typical user) factors in understanding gender-role portrayals in television advertising. Using content analysis methodology, we compared the gender and occupation of the prominent character and the gender of the voice-over across 2,608 television commercials in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States. Results of regression analyses revealed that cultural and country factors predicted the gender of the voice-over only whereas product type consistently conformed with the gender of the prominent character. Overall, males were featured in prominent visual and auditory roles, while females were still portrayed in stereotypical ways.


Gender-role portrayals Advertising Masculinity (MAS) cultural value dimension Gender-related Development Index (GDI) Cross-cultural research