NEWS26 July 2017

Female stereotypes blighting advertising

Media News Trends UK

UK – Hot on the heels of the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision to introduce stronger regulation on harmful gender stereotyping in advertising, research from UM London has found that the majority of both men and women think women’s portrayal in advertising is stereotypical.

Female stereotype housewife_crop

The 2,000 strong, nationally representative survey was run in June 2017, and found that 77% of women thought the way women are portrayed in ads was very or quite stereotypical – 65% of men thought the same.

The most common stereotypes cited by women were ‘bimbo/footballer’s wife', ‘domestic goddess’ and ‘shopaholic'. The stereotypes cited that were deemed most offensive were ‘bitch', ‘sex-crazed nymphomaniac’ and ‘bimbo'.

The survey also questioned respondents on whether they considered themselves feminists – 46% of women did and 22% of men did. But young women were much more likely to identify themselves as feminists – 69% of 13- to 17-year-olds did and 54% of 18- to 24-year-olds, compared with 43% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 36% of those 65+.

But the blight of advertising stereotypes was not limited to women – 46% of male respondents said they had felt the need to behave in a certain way because of how men are portrayed in ads. The most prolific male stereotypes were ‘unemotional', ‘laddy', and ‘not crying in public'.