Source on Media Exposure

Good article on Ad exposure

Statistics on advertising

Outline for doing a paper

Statistical background for section on portrayal of women in ads

Conclusions or generalizations on portrayal of women in ads



"Indeed, our female ideal violates the anthropomorphic reality of the average female body. The ideal female weight, represented by actresses, models, and Miss Americas, has progressively decreased to that of the thinnest 5-10% of American women. Consequently, 90-95% of American women feel that they don't ‘measure up.' Societies have never been kind to deviants, but in America a statistical deviation has been normalized, leading millions of women to believe they are abnormal."

Roberta Seid

Introduction - Thesis on body image in the media

Example: In spite of advances in equal rights for women, the media still presents an image of woman that is idealized, unattainable and focused almost entirely on appearances.

In the media, women are still used as objects to sell products to both men and women. In womens' magazines, women are encouraged to find fulfillment, satisfaction by... In men's magazines, women are treated as accessories or trappings of success no different than any other object. In neither case are they (we) treated as independent, diverse individuals with a wide variety of interests and looks.



Increase and ubiquitousness of media

Source of data on quantity of media in homes and number of hours involved:

Kaiser Foundation (especially pages in front and page 22)


Cost of Mass media as proportion of daily wage:

18th Century (theater) More than a full day's wage
Early 19th Century (theater) 1/3
1840s-50s (minstrel show) A little less than 1/3 (25 cents)
1870 (minstrel, variety shows) 1/6 (still 25 cents)
1880s (melodrama, vaudeville) 1/13 (10 cents)
1910 (nickelodeon) 1/40 (5 cents)
1920 (movie theater) less than 1/40 (10 cents)
1960s (television)

1/360 (amortized cost of $200 black

and white set)

1998 (cable television)

1/100 (amortized cost of $300 color set

plus basic cable)




Constructions of reality - why it matters

"All of us have a "construct" of what the world is and how it works. It is a model, based on our experiences and observations. When, however, a major part of those observations and experiences come to us preconstructed and interpreted through media, with attitudes and conclusions built in, then the media, rather than ourselves, are constructing our reality. (Scary, huh?)"

Good link

Advertisng as moving force or sponsor of media:

Good source of information: Study Guide to Killing Me Softly

(excerpt - page 10)

In 1979, companies spent 20 billion dollars on advertising

In 1999, they spent 180 billion dollars

More stats



Look at popular mens and womens magazines and describe how portray men and women

Database of ads from days gone by

Good example of analysis of television ads

Sample photos selected in class.

How are the ads constructed, general overview with links

PBS Site on Cover Girls

Mens perspectives/ womens perspectives
Statistical Concerns - mens issues, womens issues