Year of Graduation
Sexist advertising: Gender analysis of social experiment
Faculty of Sociology
In today’s modern society the media and especially advertising have manifested sexist nature. Advertising agents actively exploit women's sexuality, they represent women as an object of desire. The advertising world exploits the beauty of women who then become a commodity, a way of «attracting» customers to buy a product. One of the reasons for this trend is the existence of permanent ingrained social opinion on the gender order.This paper, which takes an active social position dictated emancipatory installations, studies young people's attitudes in regards to the visualization of the gender order in outdoor advertising and explore the possibility of adjusting their gender attitudes in order to change perceptions about gender roles.The empirical base is test results and interviews of 14 young people: 7 men and 7 women. Methodology of the study involves a sequentional social experiment. The influential factor in this proposal is a set of advertising posters with varying degrees of exploitation of female sexuality.Results of the experiment are as follows. Women really are more sensitive to sexist advertising posters, but their position can be called «low differentiated»: sometimes thoughts and feelings coexist in disharmony. Feelings are generated by our everyday world, so girls think something like this: «what a creative approach», but the mind says: «what such advertising teaches people?». Men defend the right of existence of sexist advertising, arguing that a woman is a competent publicity stunt that works for the manufacturer. Moreover, it is legitimately.Gender attitudes in both women and men have changed during the experiment. The percentage of egalitarian gender attitudes has increased in both cases, also as the percentage of patriarchal gender attitudes has decreased. So, people can be affected through dialogue. We can and we should adjust their outlook on life, problematize their views on gender order and its visualization in the public space. Thus, it comes down to deliberation. Deliberation presupposes the enrichment of individual opinions and even his possible revision after meeting with the other positions. This is the essential difference between the deliberation and the dispute, whose main task is to defend his point of view through the proof that the opponent’s arguments are untenable.