Race & Gender Stereotypes: A Content Analysis of Magazine Advertising

Open Access
Carson, Candace Camillia
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Colleen Connolly Ahern, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
  • stereotypical advertising
  • racial stereotypes
  • gender stereotypes
Prior research has shown the significant presence of stereotypical content in advertising. This study investigates the ways in which magazine advertising stereotypes on the basis of race and gender through a content analysis of all advertisements from six popular magazines (Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Maxim, GQ, Ebony, and Essence), representing three magazine categories (women’s, men’s, and ethnic). The study explores various characteristics of each advertisement; however the primary focus of the study is to uncover the ways in which women are stereotyped. Findings demonstrate the inaccurate representation and stereotypical portrayal of both race and gender. Within the sample, race had dependent relationships with the following variables: magazine type, product category, perceived importance of ad models, count of sexual cues, and sexual objectification. Relationships were also found between product category and magazine type, as well as count of sexual cues and sexual objectification.