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The effects of gender-stereotyped radio commercials

Durkin, Kevin and Hurtz, Wilhelm (2004) The effects of gender-stereotyped radio commercials. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34 (9). pp. 1974-1992. ISSN 0021-9029

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Abstract

It is well established that mass-media content often presents strong traditional gender stereotypes, but relatively little is known of the effects of exposure to such content. This study investigates the impact of gender-stereotyped radio commercials on listeners' self-ratings of masculinity and femininity and on the efficiency with which they performed memory tasks that included gender-stereotyped trait terms. No effect on self-rating was obtained. Clear effects on information processing efficiency were found, with participants exposed to the stereotyped commercials showing superior performance on memory for trait words and on a secondary task. It is concluded that repetitive exposure to gender stereotypes via the media does promote the accessibility of stereotype-related cognitions.