Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Brown, Lucy

Reader

Watkins, Patsy

Second Reader

Madison, Karen

Third Reader

Hare, Lawrence

Abstract

This content analysis examined the use of gender stereotypes, in the forms of product association and various traditional behaviors expected of a particular gender, in children’s advertisements aired on Nickelodeon network. Results of the study revealed that although children’s commercials appear to be breaking away from some long-standing gender stereotypes, such as boys being the dominant gender in athleticism, many of the same gender stereotypes that researchers have been investigating for decades remain prevalent today. Results indicate that commercials on Nickelodeon network favor boy characters in overall time on-screen. Girls-only commercials made up the lowest percent of commercials in the sample. Even male narrators were preferred for voice-overs. Additionally, children’s commercials continue to reinforce the social expectation that boys play with construction and transportation toys, while girls play with dolls and stuffed animals. Enduring behavioral stereotypes include the idea that boys are competitive and aggressive, while girls are nurturing and domestic. Lastly, the gender association of girls playing indoors and boys playing outdoors remains a prevalent stereotype within children’s advertisements.

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