How and Why Sex and Violence Are Used to Represent Women in Advertising? - Critical Thinking Essay

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George Washington University
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Critical thinking
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In our competitive world of business and products, sale is the highest goal for the companies and the most effective so far tool to raise it is throughout the advertisement. The sellers are willing to pay a big money for a short message that will be watched by the potential viewers. The industry considers an ad as effective when brought to the sale of the product. Nevertheless, in a world where the potential financial resources of viewers are limited, the immediate sale of the product will only occur if a specific ad win over tens or hundreds of others watched on the same day by the same viewer. Therefore, the advertisement must be original and appealing to be able to persuade the viewers to buy the product.

Another problem for advertisement is the limited memory of the viewers. For that reason, the marketing people concentrate on creating images that will not be easily forgotten. If the ad drew the attention of the viewer there is a big chance the product for gain a prospective buyer. The easiest way to do that is to link the product with the ideas that all people are familiar with or the opposite: the ideas that will shock the viewers. Therefore, the sex and attributes of gender, as well as violence, are so widely used in the modern world of advertisement. The advertisement researchers know that neutral scenes do not stay in our memory as long as violence and sex scenes.

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Differentiation Between the Genders in the Advertisement

The differentiation between the genders is one of the very important skills a man learns when he/she is a child. Soon follow the rules, the girls wear dresses and play the dolls while all boys have short hair and play with guns and cars. The little girls are taught from a young age that females are sensitive, gentle, and nice. These girls grow the women who believe that to be good wives they must depend upon men and that their role in a relationship with a man is passive. The men are believed to be protectors of the family, the person that held responsibility for the financial wealth of a family. Our culture demands men to be strong and independent even to be aggressive while women must be weak, nice, and good-looking.

The advertisement people use that and others ready social formulas to create links with the images of the objects. The objects become the important factor that a woman or man needs to have to be considered physically attractive. The sex and human body are presented in such ways that become objectified while the real object is suggested to give man fullness, make him more beautiful and happy.

The physical attractiveness of women is stressed almost everywhere. The woman should be beautiful, young-looking, and the most important slim. Most advertisements of feminine products seem to suggest women should use a given product to look more attractive to their men. This is huge industry tells women what they should do or they should not do this way creating new markets or eliminating competition.

Woman as a Prospective Victim in the Advertisement

Another way the woman is presented in the advertisement is as a prospective victim. Jean Kilbourne author of Two ways a woman can get hurt tries to explain why women would find this image compelling and attractive. (¦). Perhaps is simply designed to get our attention by shocking us and by arousing unconscious anxiety. Or perhaps the intent is more subtle and it is designed to play into the fantasies of domination and even rape that some women use in order to maintain an illusion of being in control. Whatever reason is for violence on women being shown; it creates the image of a woman as being not equal to a man and deserving to be treated violently because of her feminine side which is seen in our culture much worse than a masculine side.


In the conclusion, the media demand women not only perfect looking but also subordinate to a man. They suggest that a true woman will always do whatever takes to maintain a positive relationship with a man whatever it takes: making herself beautiful for him or being his tool to fulfill his sexual desires and to ensure himself that he indeed represents something better than she does.

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