The Reverse Stereotype and the Double Standard: Expressions of Concern About Advertising’s Treatment of Men

  • Aileen O’Driscoll


During interviews with students, the most common advertising gender themes of sexualisation and domesticity were explored. It was considered important to get a handle on how students interpreted such imagery and whether they accepted or rejected depictions of women as sex object or housewife/homemaker, and the reasons and justifications underlying their attitudes, since women have far more frequently been reduced to these roles than men in advertising. It was broadly found that most students found the sexualisation and sexual objectification of women in advertising problematic, at some level. However, there was some confusion and misunderstanding about what constitutes sexual objectification. Furthermore, such abstract, hypothetical, or theoretical concerns for reductive depictions of women as sex objects appeared to fall away when the discussion moved onto issues of what could or should be done to address this. Adverts that equate women with the domestic realm proved to be far less contentious for students. Indeed, none of the students interviewed expressed a concern with this ubiquitous trend in advertising. Rather, it was explained and justified on a number of fronts, which is covered in the following chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aileen O’Driscoll
    • 1
  1. 1.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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