n Acta Commercii - Portrayals of men and women in Drum magazine (South Africa) advertisements : original research

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2413-1903
  • E-ISSN: 1684-1999



The subject of gender portrayals in advertising continues to generate academic discussions in part because of its socialisation effects.

The purpose of this study is to determine how print advertisements in magazine portray women and men based on a number of categories including trait descriptors, physical characteristics, role behaviours and occupational status.
It is important to understand gender portrayals in advertising because perceptions of social reality are influenced by what people are exposed to in socialisation agents such as advertisements.
A quantitative content analysis was run on a sample of 415 advertisements drawn from magazine. Partial least squares analysis was used to assess the relationships between the variables.
The findings show that gender has a statistically significant effect on profiles (roles) and sexual appeal but not on gender equity. Advertisers therefore treat models differently with regard to the roles assigned and the use of sexual appeal.
Previous research evidence and theory indicate that the content of advertisements does influence readers' self-perception and also their perception of others. Within the bounds of advertising creativity, it is important that advertisers pay particular attention to gender portrayals in advertising to avoid the creation or perpetuation of gender stereotypes.
Though the model's gender influences portrayals in advertising, other contextual factors are also important determinants of portrayals.

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