Gender Portrayals in Television Commercials: Differences Among Target Audience Age
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The study investigates how gender is portrayed in television commercials targeted at children and adults. Nearly 1,000 commercials from Nickelodeon (a channel aimed at young children) and E! (a channel aimed at primarly young adult females) were recorded and coded. Using TV Parental Guidelines, commercials on Nickelodeon in programs rated TV Y and TV Y7 and commercials on E! in programs rated TV PG and TV 14 were coded in the sample. The commercials selected were coded using a pre-tested coding scheme, which allowed for comparison across ages (i.e. as being on Nickelodeon or E!). E! showed heavily traditional gender roles on both conscious and subconscious levels. On Nickelodeon, traditional gender roles were less overt, but instead were conveyed to viewers in more subliminal ways (e.g. the predominance of male voiceovers). The implications of these findings are discussed.
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