Age and Sex Stereotypes in British Television Advertisements

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Abstract

Research has indicated that TV advertisements frequently portray the genders and people of different ages in more traditional roles than are apparent in society at the time. The work of McArthur and Resko (1975) created a method of rating the central advert character for several characteristics, which has been replicated by the majority of subsequent articles, including this one. The current study aimed to investigate present levels of gender and age stereotypes in British TV advertisements through a content analysis. It found evidence that many such stereotypes were still present. This suggests that many adverts/commercials are inaccurate at representing both the genders and different ages, although a reduction in the rate of some stereotypes compared with previous studies was observed. Limitations of this study are considered.

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