Ad Vocabulary Re-Enforcing Gender Stereotypes


Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect, blogs about the the impact of kids’ popular culture on young boys becuase she has been regularly disappointed by the film and television offerings available to her two young sons.

She has analyzed the incidences of words used in advertising toys for boys and girls during after-school cartoon blocks.  She discussed this a bit in her book, but now she has tranfsormed the collated data into wordclouds. 

While admitting that this is not an exhaustive study, she finds the graphical representation quite interesting and a place to begin a discussion.  I agree.

Click for larger versions:

Wordle: Words Used to Advertise Boys' Toys
Word incidences in boy-toy ads


Wordle: Words Used in Advertising for Girls' Toys
Word incidences girl-toy ads

Seriously?  Wow.
See her post for more information on her data collection methodology and her response to the two largest points of criticism she’s received regarding the experiment.
The question in my mind is — Is this vivid display of word usage a cause of gender-stereotype programming or is it simply the result of it? 


Middle-aged, life-long Texan with a substantial chip on her shoulder.

Posted in culture, education, gender, parenthood

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