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Representations of Gender and Age in Television Commercials: A Content Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  Gender & Age in Commercials 14 (character tells others was to do), "order receiver" (character is told what to do), "both" (both gives and takes orders," or "neither." Finally, the primary setting of the character within the commercial was recorded (Fullerton & Kendrick, 2000; Furnham & Mak, 1999; Larson, 2001). Five location categories included "place of employment" (place of work, such as office, construction site, school bus, playing field for professional athletes), "home" (inside a residential space), "outdoor" (any outdoor location, such as a park, driveway, backyard), "restaurant" (inside a restaurant), or "other inside location." Analyses Chi-squares, t-tests, and ANOVAs were computed to determine differences based on gender and age. Nominal level variables were examined using chi-square tests while ANOVA and t-tests were applied to the assessment of all continuous variables. In order to account for unequal cell sizes, ANOVAS were run based on the specifications of what is somewhat inappropriately termed the "classical experimental method" typically used with non-experimental data (Tabachnick & Fidell p.344). This approach adjusts for effect of main effects on one another as well as on interactions. Results In total, 2,880 commercials were coded in the sample of prime time television programming. Advertisements for products used away from home were most common (n=1140, 50.0%), followed by products used at home (n=1019, 35.4%). Within the 2,880 coded commercials, 2,315 speaking characters were analyzed. The number of speaking characters is fewer than the number of commercials because some commercials had no speaking characters. Hypothesis 1 Substantial evidence was found in support of Hypothesis 1, indicating that males did, in fact, outnumber females, both as characters and as speakers for voiceovers. Of the 2,304 characters whose gender was discernible, 58.8 percent were male (n = 1341) and 41.2 percent were female (n = 938). Male voices χ 2 (1, N = 1799) = 42.83, p < .01 accounted for 69.3 percent of the voice-overs in the sample. Hypothesis 2

Authors: Mastro, Dana. and Stern, Susannah.
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Gender & Age in Commercials 14
(character tells others was to do), "order receiver" (character is told what to do), "both" (both gives and
takes orders," or "neither."
Finally,
the
primary setting of the character within the commercial was recorded (Fullerton &
Kendrick, 2000; Furnham & Mak, 1999; Larson, 2001). Five location categories included "place of
employment" (place of work, such as office, construction site, school bus, playing field for professional
athletes), "home" (inside a residential space), "outdoor" (any outdoor location, such as a park, driveway,
backyard), "restaurant" (inside a restaurant), or "other inside location."
Analyses
Chi-squares, t-tests, and ANOVAs were computed to determine differences based on gender and
age. Nominal level variables were examined using chi-square tests while ANOVA and t-tests were
applied to the assessment of all continuous variables.
In order to account for unequal cell sizes,
ANOVAS were run based on the specifications of what is somewhat inappropriately termed the "classical
experimental method" typically used with non-experimental data (Tabachnick & Fidell p.344). This
approach adjusts for effect of main effects on one another as well as on interactions.
Results
In total, 2,880 commercials were coded in the sample of prime time television programming.
Advertisements for products used away from home were most common (n=1140, 50.0%), followed by
products used at home (n=1019, 35.4%). Within the 2,880 coded commercials, 2,315 speaking characters
were analyzed. The number of speaking characters is fewer than the number of commercials because
some commercials had no speaking characters.
Hypothesis 1
Substantial evidence was found in support of Hypothesis 1, indicating that males did, in fact,
outnumber females, both as characters and as speakers for voiceovers. Of the 2,304 characters whose
gender was discernible, 58.8 percent were male (n = 1341) and 41.2 percent were female (n = 938). Male
voices
χ
2
(1, N = 1799) = 42.83, p < .01 accounted for 69.3 percent of the voice-overs in the sample.
Hypothesis 2


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