Advertising gender role stereotyping has been a prominent topic in literatures since the 1970s. Over the past decade gender stereotyping in television commercials has received particular attention. Most of the findings of gender role research indicate that advertisements are generally moving toward a slightly less stereotypical stance. However, research of gender roles in advertisements is plentiful in the United States. Understanding of sex-role portrayal in an international context is limited because there are so few studies. Since it seems that the trend of gender roles in Asia will also change to non-stereotypical gender roles, it has been difficult to confirm the use of advertising stereotypes in Asia. In addition, there has never been any comparative research concerning the change in gender roles in television commercials between Japan and Thailand. Therefore, this paper compares the change in gender roles in television commercials between both countries. This comparative content analysis of sampling advertisements from the ACC Awards in Japan (1976, 1985, and 1995) and sampling of TACT Awards in Thailand (1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1995) suggests a possible reversal of traditional patterns of literature. In fact, the proportion of working women in Japan is low and has not changed much (47.6% in 1980 to 48.4% in 2005). In Thailand, this proportion is comparatively high (75.3% in 1978 to 76.3% in 1990). However, this research result reveals that the number of working women appearing in Japanese advertisement has significantly increased from 3.6% in 1976 to 27.7% in 1995. Moreover, the appearance of working women has significantly increased from 0% to 41.2% in high-level business and from 0% to 58.8% in middle-level business. In contrast, the number of occupational appearances of women in Thai advertisements has not significantly changed over time (5.0% in 1976 to 10.0% in 1995). According to this result, it demonstrates that advertisements in both countries reflect an ideal image of gender roles, not roles in reality. In Japan, commercials reflect an ideal image of the working woman, while Thai commercials reflect an image of the housewife. In summary, the analysis of this research result refutes the conclusion that advertising role portrayals are becoming relatively more reflective of current realities. Additionally, since there is no significant change of gender roles in Thai television commercials, this also contrasts with literature that suggests a stronger argument for decreasing stereotyping. This analysis also suggests that an understanding of background and situation of gender roles in each society is crucial to interpret and analyze statistical results in this field. Moreover, this research proposes further longitudinal comparisons of the gender roles in television commercials among other Asian countries as well.
This paper explores the process of social construction of gender through the use of media, specifically on video games. The paper focused on the game playing behaviors among male and female adolescent age 5 to 15. The data collected from the governmental statistics published from 1999 to 2006, and the data from official white paper from entertainment suppliers' associations. In order to clarifying the social/cultural aspect on game playing behavior in Japan, data from the U.S. statistics were presented as comparison. This paper tries to interpret the usages of video-game within Japanese contemporary society, and observe social/cultural context that to construct the uniqueness of popular culture, which deeply oriented to media technology. According to CESA (Computer Entertainment Suppliers' Association), nearly 70% of the entire software was produced for male children users in Japan. The compelling fact found through the data analysis from CESA in Japan and ESA (Entertainment Suppliers' Association) in U.S. was nearly half of the game users were children under age 15 in Japan. The users' sexuality is vividly described and shown the clear contrast between male and female in Japan than in the U.S Male children are obviously targeted as main game users, while female children were absent as users. What portrays here is an example of media's construction of gender-bias. Game industry defines children as “boy” gender, and ignored “girl” gender during the process of marketing. This finding presents the strict gender-biased ideology within Japanese society. What game culture portrays is the rigid gender-bias, and the passivity of users which far from nurturing one's creativity. To look at video-game as a toy for children, the playfulness of the game need to be re-examined. Toys can help one's psychological/physical development by training one's ability for socialization. Since video-games exhibit the rigid gender-bias that to determinate the user's perception toward the world, playing games fail to enhance the users' creativity. Games are not perfect toys for children since they determine the users' gender, but they are clearly exhibiting the social construction of gender. As conclusion, paper states the necessity of media literacy to educate majority to manage the critical thinking on media's presentation. In order to create the constructive relationship with media, to promote media literacy in general population is significantly meaningful and essential in contemporary society.29