Portrayal of Women in Advertisements: Adverse Effects on Youth

Jackie Tsontakis's picture

The way women are portrayed in the media has been a longstanding issue, especially for children. Recent studies have shown very little change in how women have been represented in advertisements between 2006 and 2017.

Men are still four times as likely to appear in ads as women, and women are consistently younger than men in ads. Women are portrayed in their 20s most often, while men could be anywhere from their 20s to 40s in most ads. 

From 2006 to 2016, ads portrayed only one in four women to have a job and women have been almost 50% more likely to be shown in the kitchen during an ad. Additionally, men are 89% more likely to be depicted as "intelligent" compared to women.

Lastly, women have been shown in revealing clothing and in sexual ways six times more than men from 2006 to 2016.  

How do you these these statistics about today's media and the way women are portrayed in advertisements affect our youth? How can we make sure that girls grow up to believe that they are just as smart and capable as men when the media is constantly contradicting this?