Sex And Advertising: The Role Of Sex In Advertising

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The role of sex in advertising is debatable and most individuals, including industry experts, conclude that having the target audience of an advertisement comprehend the overall message being sent in an advertisement is the essential objective. In order for a message to get across, the advertisement must first get the attention of the target audience or market. After all, if advertisers are unable to get one’s attention they will not be able to send a message. There are many strategies that advertiser’s and marketers use to capture an audience’s attention. One such tactic used by many advertisers goes with the belief that sex sells in advertising. Sexuality is an influential motivator, and many advertisements use sexually explicit images to help catch attention and advertise their products and services. Advertisements using physically attractive people, which most likely have been enhanced with computer altering techniques, set standards that cannot be met in real life by regular people. The attractive female images in advertising as well as gender stereotypes have the potential to negatively impact women's behavior, create misconceptions of beauty, and cause psychological problems.
Today’s society has a fairly stable idea about what men and women should act and look like. These stereotypes often portray men traditionally as masculine, dominant, and rational while women tend to be portrayed as feminine, emotional, and passive. Naturally, these characteristics allow for each gender to be associated with different products in which they are targeted towards. Men tend to be associated with and the target market for technology items, home improvement products, and alcohol. Women tend to be associated with shopping, chores, family, a...

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...opic of sex, gender roles, and advertising. Although study after study has found that advertisements can receive the same result whether they feature extremely thin, computer-enhanced models, or models that look like the majority of the American population, it would take a great deal of persuasion to change the images the industry is currently using in their campaigns. As previously stated, the objective of advertisements should be to get a message to the consumer. In order to do that, advertisers must capture the audience’s attention. While this is sometimes done by using sexual appeal as an attention grabber, sex can be portrayed in commercials as a gender stereotype or in a desirable way. Unfortunately, when sex appeal is portrayed in an unrealistic, impractical way, this has allowed the general population to compare themselves to models that may not even exist.
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