Indian Ads Increase Gender Stereotypes, Shows Study

What is the News?

UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media(GDI) have released a study titled “Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India”.

About the study:
  • Purpose: The study measures the level and type of gender stereotyping found in Indian advertisements on TV and YouTube. For this purpose, over 1,000 most viewed advertisements were analyzed in 2019.
  • The study found that female representation in Indian ads still depicts colorism, hypersexualization, and also women without careers or aspirations outside the home.
Key Findings of the study:
  • Women in ads dominate the screen and speaking time with 59.7% and 56.3% of female representation respectively. This is above the global average of 44% and 39%
  • Female-dominated activities in ads include roles of shopping, cleaning, and preparing meals.
  • Male-dominated activities in these ads include them being in an office, outdoors, or at a sporting event
  • A greater percentage of female characters are depicted as married, than male characters (11% compared with 8.8%).
  • Female characters are thrice as likely to be shown as caretakers or a parent than male characters (18.7% to 5.9%).
  • Male characters are more likely to be shown making decisions about their future than female characters (7.3% compared with 4.8%),
  • Lower Income Class: Characters of a lower-income class are underrepresented. Only 6.4% of the ads show people from that class. The Middle-class is most prominent with 51.3% representation.
  • Sexualisation: Female characters are 6 times more likely to be in revealing clothing than men (11.2% to 1.7%). They are 5 times more likely to be sexually objectified (4.7% compared to 0.9%).
  • Intelligence: Male characters are more likely to be shown as smart, than female characters (32.2% compared to 26.2%).
  • Skin Tone: Two-thirds of female characters (66.9%) in Indian ads have light or medium-light skin tones — a higher percentage than male characters (52.1%).

Source: The Hindu

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