An analysis of masculinity stereotypes in advertising across six channels

Darcy Semmler


Because advertising relies on simplifications to get messages across more quickly, gendered stereotypes are prevalent in advertising media messages, and have been well- researched for their content and effects. Researchers have been more critical of the messages that perpetuate stereotypes involving women, but have focused less on the stereotypes men must face. This thesis uses content analysis to examine commercials on six channels for the frequency of male or female voiceovers and the frequency in which men and women appear in commercial advertisements. The analysis also investigates the masculinity stereotypes present in the commercials in comparison to neutral or gender- reversed stereotypes in the same commercials. This thesis suggests questions about the significance of masculinity stereotypes in media, as results show a balance of male and female presence across various stations, but greater usage of male voiceovers in commercials and differences in stereotypes across channels targeting gender-specific audiences.