Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 418–440 | Cite as

A meta-analysis of gender roles in advertising

Original Empirical Research

Abstract

Although interest regarding gender role portrayals in advertising has persisted for many years, the degree of gender stereotyping in advertising, possible changes of gender stereotyping over the years, and the nature of the relationship between gender stereotyping in advertising and role changing developments in society have not yet been studied in previous research. To address these issues, this study provides a meta-analysis of the research on gender roles in TV and radio advertising based on 64 primary studies. The results show that stereotyping is prevalent in advertising. Stereotyping occurs mainly related to gender’s occupational status, meaning gender equality in advertising is least likely in an area that is the primary concern of gender-related politics. Stereotyping in advertising has indeed decreased over the years, although this decrease is almost exclusively due to developments in high masculinity countries. The results of a correlation analysis and a simultaneous equation model show that gender stereotyping in advertising depends on gender-related developments and value changes in society rather than the other way around. These results provide for the first time empirical support for the mirror argument over the mold argument in the long-standing debate about advertising’s consequences for society. The findings further provide implications for researchers, public policy makers, and marketing practitioners.

Keywords

Advertising Gender roles Meta-analysis 

References

  1. Arima, A. N. (2003). Gender stereotypes in japanese television advertisements. Sex Roles, 49, 81–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashmore, R. D., & Del Boca, F. K. (1981). Conceptual approaches to stereotypes and stereotyping. In D. L. Hamilton (Ed.), Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup behavior (pp. 1–35). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Bardhan, K., & Klasen, S. (1999). The UNDP’s gender-related indices: a critical review. World Development, 27, 985–1010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belkaoui, A., & Belkaoui, J. M. (1976). A comparative analysis of the roles portrayed by women in print advertisements: 1958, 1970, 1972. Journal of Marketing Research, 13, 168–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  6. Bretl, D. J., & Cantor, J. (1988). The portrayal of men and women in U.S. television commercials: a recent content analysis and trends over 15 years. Sex Roles, 18, 595–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cagli, U., & Durukan, L. (1989). Sex role portrayals in Turkish television advertising: some preliminary findings. METU Studies in Development, 16, 153–175.Google Scholar
  8. Candler, J. (1991). Woman car buyer—Don’t call her a Niche anymore. Advertising Age, January 21, 28.Google Scholar
  9. Ceci, S. J., Williams, W. M., & Barnett, S. M. (2009). Women’s underrepresentation in science: sociocultural and biological considerations. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 218–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chao, W.-P. (2005). Gender-role portrayals in taiwan’s television commercials: A content analysis of Times advertising award winners 1997–2002. Master Thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.Google Scholar
  11. Cortina, J. M. (1993). Interaction, nonlinearity, and multicollinearity: implications for multiple regression. Journal of Management, 19, 915–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Courtney, A. E., & Whipple, T. W. (1983). Sex stereotyping in advertising. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  13. Deaux, K., & Lewis, L. L. (1984). Structure of gender stereotypes: interrelationships among components and gender label. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 991–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dominick, J. R., & Rauch, G. E. (1972). The image of women in network TV commercials. Journal of Broadcasting, 16, 259–265.Google Scholar
  15. European Parliament. (2008). Report on how marketing and advertising affect equality between women and men. Retrieved November 20, 2008 from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A6-2008-0199&language=EN&mode=XML
  16. Fleiss, J. L. (1994). Measures of effect size for categorical data. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 245–260). New York: Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  17. Fullerton, J. A., & Kendrick, A. (2000). Portrayal of men and women in US spanish-language television commercials. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77, 128–142.Google Scholar
  18. Furnham, A., Abramsky, S., & Gunter, B. (1997). A cross-cultural content analysis of children’s television advertisements. Sex Roles, 37, 91–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Furnham, A., Babitzkow, M., & Uguccioni, S. (2000a). Gender stereotyping in television advertisements: a study of French and Danish television. Genetic Social and Psychology Monographs, 126, 79–104.Google Scholar
  20. Furnham, A., & Bitar, N. (1993). The stereotyped portrayal of men and women in British television advertisements. Sex Roles, 29, 297–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Furnham, A., & Chan, F. (2003). The gender-role stereotyping of men and women in Hong Kong television advertisements. Psychologia, 46, 213–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Furnham, A., & Farragher, E. (2000). A cross-cultural analysis of sex-role stereotyping in television advertisements: a comparison between Great Britain and New Zealand. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44, 415–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Furnham, A., & Imadzu, E. (2002). Gender portrayal in British and Japanese TV advertisements. Communications, 27, 319–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Furnham, A., & Mak, T. (1999). Sex-role stereotyping in television commercials: a review and comparison of fourteen studies done on five continents over 25 Years. Sex Roles, 41, 413–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Furnham, A., Mak, T., & Tanidjojo, L. (2000b). An Asian perspective on the portrayal of men and women in television advertisements: studies from Hong Kong and Indonesian television. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 2341–2364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Furnham, A., Pallangyo, A. E., & Gunter, B. (2001). Gender-role stereotyping in Zimbabwean television advertisements. South African Journal of Psychology, 31, 21–29.Google Scholar
  27. Furnham, A., & Saar, A. (2005). Gender-role stereotyping in adult and children’s television advertisements: a two-study comparison between Great Britain and Poland. Communications, 30, 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Furnham, A., & Schofield, S. (1986). Sex-role stereotyping in British radio advertisements. British Journal of Social Psychology, 25, 165–171.Google Scholar
  29. Furnham, A., & Skae, E. (1997). Changes in the stereotypical portrayal of Men and Women in British television advertisements. European Psychologist, 2, 44–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Furnham, A., & Spencer-Bowdage, S. (2002). Sex role stereotyping in television advertisements: a content analysis of advertisements from South Africa and Great Britain. Communications, 27, 457–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Furnham, A., & Thomson, L. (1999). Gender role stereotyping in advertisements on two British radio stations. Sex Roles, 40, 153–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Furnham, A., & Voli, V. (1989). Gender stereotypes in Italian television advertisements. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 33, 175–185.Google Scholar
  33. Ganahl, D. J., Kim, K., & Netzley, S. B. (2003a). Longitudinal analysis of network commercials: how advertisers portray gender. Media Report to Women, 31, 11–15.Google Scholar
  34. Ganahl, D. J., Prinsen, T. J., & Netzley, S. B. (2003b). A content analysis of prime time commercials: a contextual framework of gender representation. Sex Roles, 49, 545–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ganzach, Y. (1997). Misleading interaction and curvilinear terms. Psychological Methods, 2, 235–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N., & Shanahan, J. (2002). Growing up with television: Cultivation processes. In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp. 43–67). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  37. Gilly, M. C. (1988). Sex roles in advertising: a comparison of television advertisements in Australia, Mexico, and the United States. Journal of Marketing, 52, 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Goffman, E. (1979). Gender advertisements. London: The MacMillan Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  39. Gunter, B. (1995). Television and gender representation. London: Libbey.Google Scholar
  40. Hall, S. M., & Brannick, M. T. (2002). Comparison of two random-effect methods of meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 377–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Harris, P. R., & Stobart, J. (1986). Sex-role stereotyping in British television advertisements at different times of the day: an extension and refinement of Manstead & McCulloch (1981). British Journal of Social Psychology, 25, 155–164.Google Scholar
  42. Hawkins, D. I., & Coney, K. A. (1976). Advertising and differentiated sex roles in contemporary American society. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 4, 418–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hofstede, G. H. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Holbrook, M. B. (1987). Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what’s unfair in the reflections on advertising? Journal of Marketing, 51, 95–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (2000). Fixed effects vs. random effects meta-analysis models: implications for cumulative research knowledge. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 8, 275–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (2004). Methods of meta-analysis. Correcting error and bias in research findings. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  47. Hurtz, W., & Durkin, K. (1997). Gender role stereotyping in Australian radio commercials. Sex Roles, 31, 103–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ibroscheva, E. (2007). Caught between east and west? Portrayals of gender in Bulgarian television advertisements. Sex Roles, 57, 409–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kilbourne, W. E. (1986). An exploratory study of the effect of sex role stereotyping on attitudes towards magazine advertisements. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 14, 43–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kim, K., & Lowry, D. (2005). Television commercials as a lagging social indicator: gender role stereotypes in Korean television advertising. Sex Roles, 53, 901–910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lee, C. W. (2003). A study of Singapore’s English channel television commercials and sex-role stereotypes. Asian Journal of Womens Studies, 9, 78–100.Google Scholar
  52. Lee, C. W. (2004). Gender role stereotyping in television commercials: the case of Singapore. Advertising & Society Review, 5.Google Scholar
  53. Lewis, D. (2005). Mathematics: probing performance gaps. Science, 308, 1871–1872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Linghui, T., & Koveos, P. E. (2008). A framework to update Hofstede’s cultural value indices: economic dynamics and institutional stability. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 1045–1063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Livingstone, S., & Green, G. (1986). Television advertisements and the portrayal of gender. British Journal of Social Psychology, 25, 149–154.Google Scholar
  56. Lundstrom, W. J., & Sciglimpaglia, D. (1977). Sex role portrayals in advertising. Journal of Marketing, 41, 72–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Manstead, A. S. R., & McCulloch, C. (1981). Sex-role stereotyping in British television advertisements. British Journal of Social Psychology, 20, 171–180.Google Scholar
  58. Mazzella, C., Durkin, K., Cerini, E., & Buralli, P. (1992). Sex role stereotyping in Australian television advertisements. Sex Roles, 26, 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McArthur, L. Z., & Resko, B. G. (1975). The portrayal of men and women in American television commercials. Journal of Social Psychology, 97, 209–220.Google Scholar
  60. McGhee, P. E., & Frueh, T. (1980). Television viewing and the learning of sex-role stereotypes. Sex Roles, 6, 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Milner, L. M. (2002). Sex-role portrayals in South African television advertisements. In R. Shaw, S. Adam, & H. McDonald (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian New Zealand marketing academy conference (pp. 151–157). Geelong, Victoria: Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy.Google Scholar
  62. Milner, L. M. (2005). Sex-role portrayals in African television advertising: a preliminary examination with implications for the use of Hofstede’s research. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 17, 73–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Milner, L. M., & Collins, J. M. (1998). Sex role portrayals in Turkish television advertisements: an examination in an international context. Journal of Euro-Marketing, 7, 1–28.Google Scholar
  64. Milner, L. M., & Collins, J. M. (2000). Sex-role portrayals and the gender of nations. Journal of Advertising, 29, 67–79.Google Scholar
  65. Milner, L. M., & Higgs, B. (2004). Gender sex-role portrayals in international television advertising over time: the Australian experience. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 26, 81–95.Google Scholar
  66. Monk-Turner, E., Kouts, T., Parris, K., & Webb, C. (2007). Gender role stereotyping in advertisements on three radio stations: does musical genre make a difference? Journal of Gender Studies, 16, 173–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mwangi, M. W. (1996). Gender roles portrayed in Kenyan television commercials. Sex Roles, 34, 205–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. National Science Foundation. (2007). Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering: 2007 (NSF 07-315).Google Scholar
  69. Neto, F., & Furnham, A. (2005). Gender-role portrayals in children’s television advertisements. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 12, 69–90.Google Scholar
  70. Neto, F., & Pinto, I. (1998). Gender stereotypes in Portuguese television advertisements. Sex Roles, 39, 153–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Pollay, R. W. (1986). The distorted mirror: reflections on the unintended consequences of advertising. Journal of Marketing, 50, 18–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Pollay, R. W. (1987). On the value of reflections on the values in “The Distorted Mirror”. Journal of Marketing, 51, 104–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rak, D. S., & McMullen, L. M. (1987). Sex-role stereotyping in television commercials: a verbal response mode and content analysis. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 19, 25–39.Google Scholar
  74. Raudenbush, S. W. (1994). Random effects models. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 301–321). New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  75. Sakamoto, A., Kitou, M., Takahira, M., & Adachi, N. (1999). Gender stereotyping in Japanese television: a content analysis of commercials from 1961–1993. In T. Sugiman, M. Karasawn, J. H. Lui & C. Ward (Eds.), Progress in Asian social psychology: Theoretical and empirical contributions (pp. 201–212). Seoul: Kyoyook-Kwahak-SA.Google Scholar
  76. Schmidt, F. L., Hunter, J. E., & Raju, N. S. (1988). Validity generalization and situational specificity: a second look at the 75% rule and Fisher’s z transformation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 665–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Shadish, W. R., & Haddock, C. K. (1994). Combining estimates of effect sizes. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 261–281). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  78. Sharits, D., & Lammers, H. B. (1983). Perceived attributes of models in prime-time and daytime television commercials—A person perception approach. Journal of Marketing Research, 20, 64–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Siu, W.-S., & Au, A. K.-M. (1997). Women in advertising: a comparison of television advertisements in China and Singapore. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 15, 235–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Skoric, M., & Furnham, A. (2002). Gender role stereotyping in television advertisements: a comparative study of British and Serbian television. In S. P. Shohov (Ed.), Advances in psychology research (pp. 123–142). Hauppauge: Nova Science.Google Scholar
  81. Skoric, M., & Furnham, A. (2003). Gender role stereotyping in television advertisements: a comparative study of British and Serbian television. In J. Z. Arsdale (Ed.), Trends in social psychology (pp. 71–89). Hauppauge: Nova Science.Google Scholar
  82. Solomon, M. R. (2004). Consumer behavior. Buying, having, being. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  83. Tosi, H., & Einbender, S. (1985). The effects of the type and amount of information in sex-discrimination research—A meta-analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 28, 712–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. United Nations. (2008). Human development report 2007/2008. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  85. United Nations Development Program. (1990). Human development report 1990. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  86. United Nations Development Program. (1994). Human development report 1994. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. United Nations Development Program. (1995). Human development report 1995. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Uray, N., & Burnaz, S. (2003). An analysis of the portrayal of gender roles in Turkish television advertisements. Sex Roles, 48, 77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Valls-Fernandez, F., & Martinez-Vicente, J. (2007). Gender stereotypes in Spanish television commercials. Sex Roles, 56, 691–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Vinacke, W. E. (1957). Stereotypes as social concepts. Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 229–243.Google Scholar
  91. Wee, C.-H., Choong, M.-L., & Tambyah, S. K. (1995). Sex role portrayal in television advertising: a comparative study of Singapore and Malaysia. International Marketing Review, 12, 49–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Whitener, E. M. (1990). Confusion of confidence intervals and credibiltiy intervals in meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 315–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wolin, L. D. (2003). Gender issues in advertising—An oversight of research: 1970–2002. Journal of Advertising Research, 43, 111–129.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

Personalised recommendations