Gender gaps in media advertising
This study describes the differential portrayal of females and males in media advertising that leads to gender gaps. The main concern in this study was to determine the reasons for gender gaps in media advertising. The main objectives of the study were to establish whether the gender gaps in media advertising are a result of male domination of decision-making positions in media occupations, differential. socialization of males and females and lack of awareness amongst receivers of advertisements. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of informants as well as key informants who included gender experts and advertisers. Quantitative data were obtained by a questionnaire administered to secondary school students in sampled schools. Library research was also used to collect data. Findings indicate that there are gender gaps in media advertising. The results affirm that these gender gaps are a result of the socialization process. The majority of recipients of advertisements lack awareness on the gender gaps that stem out of the advertising arena given that the adverts reflect the natural order as they have been socialized. However, respondents disagreed with the portrayal of women as sex objects but agreed that women are predominantly mothers, child minders and home keepers. The results also show that though women hold more managerial positions in top media advertising agencies, advertising has multiple actors, many of whom are males in decision - making positions. Based on the study findings, it is recommended that advertising revision the images it portrays of women and men, be engendered with new definitions, keeping pace with societal changes.