UK prepares to say goodbye to ‘gender stereotypes’ in advertising

UK prepares to say goodbye to ‘gender stereotypes’ in advertising
The Advertising Standards Association in the United Kingdom recently released in a report that a study found "that a tougher line needs to be taken on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which, through their content and context, may be potentially harmful to people." (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

The Advertising Standards Association in the United Kingdom recently released a report identifying “gender stereotypes in advertising” and urged businesses to steer away from pushing “stereotypical gender roles.”

The ASA’s study identified six different categories of gender stereotypes, including:

  • Roles — Occupations or positions usually associated with a specific gender.
  • Characteristics — Attributes or behaviours associated with a specific gender
  • Mocking people for not conforming to stereotypes — Making fun of someone for behaving or looking in a non-stereotypical way
  • Sexualisation — Portraying individuals in a highly sexualised manner
  • Objectification — Depicting someone in a way that focuses on their body or body parts
  • Body image — Depicting an unhealthy body image

According to the report, the study found “that a tougher line needs to be taken on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which, through their content and context, may be potentially harmful to people. This includes ads that mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes.”

The report utilizes multiple examples of women fulfilling traditional “gender norms,” like taking care of a family, cooking, and cleaning and husbands attempting to do household chores and failing.

Because of the report’s findings, the ASA will significantly monitor and regulate ads that feature gender stereotypes in the United Kingdom.

According to the ASA, new regulations will be used to protect children from the “potential harm for adults in reinforcing already internalised messages about how they should behave and look on account of their gender. These unequal outcomes might affect different people in a variety of practical, social, emotional and economic ways.”

It is unclear who will make the final decision on whether or not an ad falls within the gender stereotype guidelines set forth by the ASA.

(H/T: Red Alert Politics)