Bachelor of Science (BS)
The one social problem that has always captivated my attention as a student of Sociology is the problem of gender inequality. Now if you were to speak to most people, they may tell you that gender inequality is a moot point because our society has advanced and women have many of the same opportunities as men do. While this may be true, the idea that gender inequality is nonexistent in this day and age is a laughable idea. I chose to research this topic to show the general public that gender inequality still exists in many forms and we still have a long way to go in order to reach true equality of gender. It is my hypothesis that television commercials reinforce gender roles and socialize our society to accept and believe that men and women must perform and live in different and separate roles.
My methodology in undertaking this research project was a content analysis approach. First, I wanted to find one male centric channel and one female centric channel in order to see the difference in commercials between the two. I chose two cable television networks that had the highest viewership demographics for both men and women respectively. After researching, I discovered that Lifetime had on average a 75% female viewership overall (highest of all cable channels) and Spike TV had on average a 70% male viewership overall (highest outside of sports specific channels). After finding these two channels, I watched 3 hours of prime time programming for each channel and recorded and analyzed every commercial that I saw. My findings allow me to conclude that there is a correlation between television commercials and the reinforcement of gender roles.
Winter, Tyler, "The Cost of Commercials: An Analysis of Electronic Media and the Reinforcement of Gender Roles" (2014). Honors Theses. 35.