ERIC Number: ED171424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Formal Attributes of Television Commercials: Subtle Ways of Transmitting Sex Stereotypes.
Welch, Renate L.; And Others
Differences in formal aspects of television commercials aimed at boys and those aimed at girls were investigated. Formal attributes were defined as production techniques such as action, pace, visual effects, dialogue and narration, background music and sound effects. Two aspects of content were also examined: aggressive behavior and the gender of the narrator. Sixty toy advertisements were selected from videotaped records of Saturday and weekday morning children's programming. Twenty of the commercials contained all male characters, 20 contained all female characters, and 20 contained characters of both sexes. These were scored by blind observers for types of formal attributes used and type of aggression portrayed. Compared to female and mixed gender ads, male ads had higher levels of inanimate action, of variability of scenes, of noise effects, and of aggression. Compared to female ads, male and mixed gender ads had higher levels of cuts and of male narration. Female ads had higher levels of fades and dissolves, of female narration, and of background music. There were no differences among the three types of commercials in levels of action by characters, total pace, and total dialogue. These findings are interpeted as indicating subtle sex stereotpying: production techniques in male ads convey action, speed and toughness, while in female ads they convey softness, gentleness and inactivity. (SS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Dept. of Human Development.