Using the Sexual Objectification Theory to Analyse Advertisements in the United States

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The Sexual Objectification of Women in Advertisements in the United States


When was the last time a black head was seen in an ad intentionally? What about too much white skin, freckles, wrinkles, piercings, or fat roles? It can be guaranteed advertisers are not showing these things unless they have a purpose. Likewise, smooth, flawless, tanned skin with perfect bone structure, attire, sparling eyes, and more than enough sparkle and shine is the incapable goal of thousands of women in America. This may explain the large amount of depression, cutting, bolemia, anxiety attacks and various other consequences of self-esteem that are beginning to rise uncontrollably. According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, we view up to 3,000 advertisements every day, which adds up to over one million per year. ( Advertisements shape American culture, and because of the hold they have on society, ads are a driving and powerful medium. Advertisements impact a person’s thoughts, actions, and even beliefs. In fact, many may argue that advertising does not in fact persuade, but manipulate. And strangely enough some may go as far as to say advertising stifles choice through subliminal messages, and can become more of a more powerful force than a persuasive message. ( Despite this view, many people can agree that advertisements are effective, they make money, and they build economy. This paper will discuss the sexuality of advertisements by using the Sexual Objectification Theory, which will be described, methodized, historized, theorized and justificated.


The Sexual Objectification Theory is descr...

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...berg, J. (2008). The Sexual Objctification of Women in Advertising: A Contemporary Cultural Perspective. Journal of Advertising Research, 48(1), 71-79.


Fredrickson, B. L. and Roberts, T.-A. (1997), OBJECTIFICATION THEORY. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21: 173–206. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x

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visual depictions of sexual objectification)

Allyn, Rachel. Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2005. 3191964.

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