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The Study of Whether Media Representations of Gender are Stereotyped: Critical Assessment by Focusing on Advertisements

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DOI: 10.25236/etmhs.2023.007


Yichang Gao

Corresponding Author

Yichang Gao


Gender stereotypes are prevalent in advertising-mediated media. This article critically analyses gender representations in the media, using advertising as a medium, and summarises gender representations in advertising by discussing the characteristics of advertising and gender representations in the media. The ideal image of men and women in advertising can be concluded in four parts. First, regarding descriptor traits, women are more caring, and men are more self-conscious. Then, in physical characteristics, male and female appearances in the advertisements are more pronounced, gender-ambiguous models are rarely shown, and they are portrayed as having good bodies. Moreover, the advertisements show men in leadership roles as the family's breadwinners, while women are more likely to take on household and childcare responsibilities in behaviors. Thus, men have a higher occupational status than women in the advertisements, with women likely to be homemakers and men playing the powerhouse or corporate executives. Then, images of the LGBT community will be discussed, showing that they reflect and reinforce gender stereotypes to some extent. Finally, the essay will point out how stereotypes have changed. As different cultures influence gender identity, the article will narrow down to Western countries and discuss gender identity in the media in a Western context. It is hoped that this study can provide some reference for the media's reporting.


Gender stereotypes; Advertising; Femininity and masculinity; LGBT