Gender Roles in Television Commercials in Asia: A Comparison of Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:12
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Piya PONGSAPITAKSANTI, University of Nagasaki, Thailand
Television advertisements are a rich source of data for social scientists to investigate.  Gender-role stereotyping in advertising has been a prominent topic in the literature since the 1970s. Over the past decade, gender stereotyping in television commercials has received particular attention. Most studies reveal that men and women are depicted differently in television advertisements, and the differences are in accordance with traditional gender roles and reflect the construction of gender roles in society. Additionally, several other studies suggest gender role stereotyping in advertising does exist but seems to be decreasing over time. However, although research of gender roles in advertisements is plentiful in the United States, our understanding of sex-role portrayal in an international context, especially in Asia, is limited because there are so few studies. Therefore, this paper compares the gender roles in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.

This comparative content analysis result of 2,450 sampling advertisements, collected randomly during August and October in 2013 in these six Asian countries, show that there are significant differences of gender, age, type of role, type of working role, type of non-working role of the main character, and gender of voice-over among these Asian countries. Most of the findings of this investigation are similar to previous results in the literature in terms of the gender of the main character, voice-over, and age of male and female characters.

However, this research result refutes the conclusion that the roles of males and females in advertising correspond accurately to the construction of gender roles in reality. In contrast, the advertisements analyzed seem to reflect an ideal image of gender roles in society. Moreover, the results of gender roles in television commercials in some countries show equality in gender roles, and this supports the concept of a decrease of gender stereotyping in advertisements.