Period 3 – Gender Stereotypes in the United States

In America gender stereotypes declare that men be pickup driving, football loving, red blooded “manly” men, while women on the other hand are traditionally expected to be delicate, clean, cooking, proper ladies. The stereotypical “images become integrated into [people’s] views of the world, forming a picture of “how” males and females “are,” and forcing an interpretation of the world in terms of gender” (79). This causes people to feel the need to look and act a certain way just because it was what’s expected.

How Gender Stereotypes are Encouraged in the USA:

  • At birth babies are given different colored objects depending on gender; blue for boys and pink for girls
  • Baby girls are nurtured more closely by their mothers than baby boys, thus creating girls that stayed closer to their mother and boys that strayed further away
  • Children are given “gender apropriate” toys growing up; a boy will receive toy guns and a girl will get a barbie
  • Mothers reward daughters for being passive and dependent causing them to live their life searching for people to depend on verses boys who grow up to be active and independent
  • One of the most influential reinforcements a teenager has to act accordingly to their gender is through their peers
  • From peer influence, girls find they are supposed to be more judgemental to looks while boys are desensified to sex and violence
  • Boys think that in order to be a “real” man one must joke and laugh about murder and promiscuous sex, other wise they’d be known as a “weenie”
  • Television shows and movies have more men casted then women
  • Television shows more men in higher-status positions than women
  • As video games advance, more games are starting to portray women as smart, strong, capable of gun usage and fighting but regardless of the new changes, the women characters are still their for sex appeal to the men

The Role of Advertising in society:

Advertising is a major part in US society. Commercials are seen thousands of times a year by single  individuals resulting in the purchase of products, informed society members, and even resulting in the influence of personal appearance in addition to behavior.  These commercials also reinforce gender stereotypes of all ages in our country. Advertising includes images of young boys being rough and away from home while young girls are quiet and cooperative at home. Advertising also includes rough manly men driving trucks and drinking beer, showing dominance while women are portrayed to be sexy submissive. Today’s culture has structured a spectrum of stereotypical images of the common person. One extreme of the spectrum shows men as rugged cowboys while at the other end, women are fabricated to think that being unrealistically beautiful is the expectation. Due to these commercials, women feel inadequate to the women in them, causing a demand for appearance enhancement products in additional to romantic success. Through advertising the way companies do, they do not only create a desire and demand for their product, but also help influence the gender expectations in society.

Mr Clean Commercial:

This Mr. Clean commercial reinforces the idea that women are supposed to clean the house and be the happy stay-at-home housewife.

MANLY Old Spice Commercial:

Portrays if you are to be a manly man with chest hair and that is talented at sports you must use Old Spice

Covergirl Commercial:

Shows an attractive and skinny Taylor Swift dancing around promoting makeup that will supposedly change a woman’s look for the better

Nerf Gun Commercials:

This advertisement focuses on teenage boys running around a city in a gigantic Nerf Gun war. Focused at younger boys showing them the excitement of violence and leaving home.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes Commercial:

1. Modern day Budweiser commercials focus on men sitting around watching Sunday football with their “bros”. To contridict this typical image the commercial would should a group of girls drinking beer and eating chips and dip while watching a program like The View or Ellen or any other daytime talk show.

2. Truck commercials (i.e. Ford) focus on men who work with their hands driving these trucks. This commercial would show a soccer mom walking out of a beauty parlor and climbing into a giant Ford 450 truck and driving off playing classic country music.

3. Today, cleaning adds commonly show the woman doing the cleaning, and when they finish, they go to womanly things, like go read a book.  For our commercial, we show a manly man cleaning around the kitchen and then have him go watch a football game.

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