Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Women in advertising, Target marketing


Prior research has established that women are portrayed in sex roles in magazine advertisements. The purpose of this study was to explore this trend and to examine if the trend appears across audiences of various ages of women. Content analysis was used to analyze advertisements in magazines with female target audiences. Additionally, three categories of magazines, which correspond to the three age groups of women, were explored to see if the advertisements with sex role images of women appear across all three groups of women. The results of the advertisements revealed that teen and young women's magazines contained ads, which portrayed women in sexual roles. This is demonstrated by the high percentage of suggestive dress and exposed body parts found in both teens and young women's magazines. Conversely, magazine advertisements in older women's magazines had a greater number of text only advertisements without a main character. The advertisements in the older women's magazines had lower percentage of suggestive dress compared to the other two groups and a higher percentage of demure dress. Much like findings of prior research the current research found that teens and young women were shown in a sexual manner in advertisements. This finding was not applicable to the advertisements in older women's magazines. Cosmetics and beauty products were the most common category of product type for all three age groups, which indicates that women should be concerned with their appearance. The current research found that women were either portrayed in a sexual manner or they were not shown at all in advertisements.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Cynthia Dunn, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 56 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Anthropology Commons