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Representations of Gender and Age in Television Commercials: A Content Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  Gender & Age in Commercials 16 Moreover, age made a significant difference in terms of characters’ primary behaviors. Among males, young adults (n = 177, 41.6%) were more likely to be shown working than performing any other activity, and middle-aged (n=273, 37.8%) and senior males (n=19, 37.3%) were equally likely to be shown working as engaged in activities other than domestic or recreational χ 2 (12, N = 1334) = 111.79, p < .001. On the other hand, females of any age were never more or equally likely to be shown working as their primary behavior χ 2 (12, N = 938) = 121.37, p < .001. In terms of occupational role, support was not found for hypothesis 3. That is, generally speaking, both female and male characters were most often depicted as ‘not a worker,’ rather than as professionals or non-professionals. However, age again made a significant difference in how characters were portrayed. Among males, one-third of young adults (n = 140, 34.0%), middle-aged adults (n = 259, 35.7%), and seniors (n = 18, 35.3%) were depicted as professionals χ 2 (8, N = 1318) = 118.06, p < .001. In contrast, less than one-quarter of young adult females (n = 102, 24.4%), and even fewer middle-aged adults (n=72, 19.7%) and seniors (n = 1, 2.6%) were depicted as professionals χ 2 (8, N = 915) = 54.74, p < .001. Evaluations of the setting in which characters were depicted provided support for Hypothesis 3. Overall, females were significantly more likely to be represented at home (n=330, 35.2%), while males were most commonly found outdoors (n = 396, 29.6%), χ 2 (4, N = 2278) = 66.64, p < .01. Females of all ages were most likely to appear in the home, with the exception of young adult females (n = 133, 31.3%), who were most commonly depicted outdoors χ 2 (16, N = 938) = 147.53, p < .001. Males of all ages were most likely to appear outdoors, although middle-aged adult males were equally likely to appear in the home setting χ 2 (16, N = 2293) = 104.62, p < .001. Hypothesis 4 Limited support was found for Hypothesis 4, which predicted that females would be more commonly associated with stereotypic appearance ideals and behaviors than males. A significant age by gender interaction emerged for attractiveness F(4, 2289)=8.41, p<.01. On a 1 (most attractive) to 5 (least

Authors: Mastro, Dana. and Stern, Susannah.
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Gender & Age in Commercials 16
Moreover, age made a significant difference in terms of characters’ primary behaviors. Among
males, young adults (n = 177, 41.6%) were more likely to be shown working than performing any other
activity, and middle-aged (n=273, 37.8%) and senior males (n=19, 37.3%) were equally likely to be
shown working as engaged in activities other than domestic or recreational
χ
2
(12, N = 1334) = 111.79, p
< .001. On the other hand, females of any age were never more or equally likely to be shown working as
their primary behavior
χ
2
(12, N = 938) = 121.37, p < .001.
In terms of occupational role, support was not found for hypothesis 3. That is, generally
speaking, both female and male characters were most often depicted as ‘not a worker,’ rather than as
professionals or non-professionals. However, age again made a significant difference in how characters
were portrayed. Among males, one-third of young adults (n = 140, 34.0%), middle-aged adults (n = 259,
35.7%), and seniors (n = 18, 35.3%) were depicted as professionals
χ
2
(8, N = 1318) = 118.06, p < .001.
In contrast, less than one-quarter of young adult females (n = 102, 24.4%), and even fewer middle-aged
adults (n=72, 19.7%) and seniors (n = 1, 2.6%) were depicted as professionals
χ
2
(8, N = 915) = 54.74, p
< .001.
Evaluations of the setting in which characters were depicted provided support for Hypothesis 3.
Overall, females were significantly more likely to be represented at home (n=330, 35.2%), while males
were most commonly found outdoors (n = 396, 29.6%),
χ
2
(4, N = 2278) = 66.64, p < .01. Females of all
ages were most likely to appear in the home, with the exception of young adult females (n = 133, 31.3%),
who were most commonly depicted outdoors
χ
2
(16, N = 938) = 147.53, p < .001. Males of all ages were
most likely to appear outdoors, although middle-aged adult males were equally likely to appear in the
home setting
χ
2
(16, N = 2293) = 104.62, p < .001.
Hypothesis 4
Limited support was found for Hypothesis 4, which predicted that females would be more
commonly associated with stereotypic appearance ideals and behaviors than males. A significant age by
gender interaction emerged for attractiveness F(4, 2289)=8.41, p<.01. On a 1 (most attractive) to 5 (least


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