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Globe and Mail: Advertisers (finally) depicting a broader view of masculinity

February 26, 2016 — 

As the Globe and Mail reports:

…a larger shift that is slowly taking hold in advertising: depicting men more frequently as considerate husbands, caring fathers and active members of their households.

“Hyper-masculinity, we believe, is a substitute for real social, economic and political power,” said Bruce Tefft, an author on that study and professor of psychology at the University of Manitoba. He has also noticed a shift more recently. “I hasten to add that change comes slowly – you can certainly find products and services being advertised in the more stereotypical masculine way. … But they’re reflecting a change in society, a broadening of gender roles.”

Advertisers are hardly altruistic: The ultimate goal of these messages is to sell stuff. But regardless of the motives, a change in ads’ gender portrayals has important consequences.

“Anything in the media is both cause and effect,” Prof. Tefft said. “Advertisers spend a lot of energy and money paying attention to changes in the market. But by their messages, they also contribute to changing the market themselves.”


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