Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



This study examined the portrayal of women in television commercials and documented the stereotypes associated with women in today’s television commercials. Content analysis was chosen as a method of inquiry for this study. Two hundred and twenty six advertisements were recorded from the three chosen networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. No local advertisements or public service announcements were included in the sample. Each advertisement was initially coded for the central figure, whether the central figure was a male or a female. In addition, each central figure in the advertisement was coded for the following categories: 1) age; 2) product use; 3) occupation; 4) voiceover; 5) product representative; 6) stance; and 7) product types. Analysis was performed to determine the extent to which female characters portrayed in these advertisements were subject to stereotypical portrayals. The analysis of the data gathered reveals that portrayals of women in television advertisements in many ways conform to most advertising’s stereotypical portrayals of women (as documented by previous researcher). However, the study provides evidence that the stereotypes associated with women is lessening. The study provides evidence of the emergence of a new trend in some cases toward portraying women and men as equals.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stephen Banning