Advertising, Marketing & Stereotypes

Women make over 80 percent of purchasing decisions in the U.S. and are primary consumers of a wide spectrum of products and services, but they are significantly underrepresented in the advertising and marketing fields. The advertising sector is overwhelmingly male-dominated and managers and account executives continue to rely on sexualized and objectified images in their marketing. Such campaigns can be harmful to women and girls in reinforcing stereotypes about consumer preferences and gender roles. Marketing to “tweens” (ages 8-12) and teens has added new psychological and economic pressures on girls to conform to unrealistic standards and increase consumption.

THE GIRLS REPORT: What We Know & Need to Know About Growing Up Female

"Seven years ago the National Council for Research on Women and its member centers issued major reports on the status of girls in society, in schools, and in youth organizations in the United States. Since then, university researchers and popular writers have focussed attention on girls. The Girls Report is a fresh and timely look at every aspect of life for girls as we look toward the new millenium.

"If the reports in the early 1990s struck a chord of concern and a call to action, the tone of this report is optimism and activism. As we say at Girls Incorporated, girls are strong, smart and bold unless society puts barriers in their way. Lynn Phillips and the National Council staff have captured the strength, the energy, and the possibilities of girls on their way to becoming young women, while calling on the rest of us to be vigilant in supporting girls' high hopes and expectations for their own achievement."

Teaser: 

The Girls Report surveys current studies on girls, mapping theoretical debates, countering popular myths with recent research findings, and highlighting successful programs serving diverse populations. Chapters on education, health, self-esteem, violence, sexuality, and economic realities conclude with clear recommendations for action. A comprehensive bibliography offers resources to educators, researchers, policymakers, and all concerned with increasing opportunities for girls.

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MISSING Information About Women's Lives

National researchers, policymakers, and the media have voiced major concerns in recent weeks about a pattern of distorting knowledge-based information and science in the service of political goals under the current administration. Now, the National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender, brings you the story from the women's research and policy perspective.

The Report
MISSING: Information About Women's Lives is a 24-page report that documents how crucial data on women and girls is disappearing. Download the report in PDF format (PDF, 408 KB) or order a copy.

Executive Summary
To download the executive summary in PDF format, click here (PDF, 172 KB).

Press Release

Teaser: 

Over the past few years, vital data has been deleted, buried, distorted, or has otherwise gone missing from government websites and publications. The National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender has documented in this report, the deletion and omission of such information and outlined how these actions directly affect women's lives.

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Media and Popular Culture: A Catch-22

May 21, 2009 posted by admin

Mass media is the heart of many current debates; however, the nature of the media remains double-edged. On a positive side, blogging and other forms of on-line communication have become key aspects of today’s feminist outreach. On line gender related activism and strive for change challenge and supplement the mainstream media. For example, check out this post from Racialicious (fyi, the editor of this fantastic blog is one of our panelists):


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GIRLS FORUM: Lyn Mikel Brown Counters the “Mean Girl” Onslaught with Strength-Based Programs

February 5, 2009 posted by admin As someone who studies girl culture and as a mother of a 13 year old, I can't miss the avalanche of "mean girls" in the media and what it suggests to my daughter; to all our daughters. Can we imagine a girl-targeted reality show, sitcom, or drama that doesn't revolve around a catfight?  Do we really need more movies like Bride Wars or another Jennifer-Angelina magazine cover with an inset of Brad in the corner? It seems like the only public displays of sisterhood we see any more involve girls collectively dissing other "bad" girls or commiserating over break ups with guys. As an education professor, I spend a lot of time in public schools.


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GIRLS FORUM: Navigating Girlhood to Womanhood from New Moon’s Nancy Gruver

February 5, 2009 posted by admin We asked activists and scholars in the girl’s rights movement to draft a letter to President Obama, outlining their Girls Agenda for 2009.  Here’s what Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Magazine had to say: Dear President Obama: As Malia and Sasha’s proud father I don’t need to tell you how having daughters can give you new eyes on the world.  My daughters, Mavis and Nia, are adults now.  But it feels like just last week that they were ten years old and I was worrying about how to help them navigate the treacherous journey from girlhood to womanhood.  We started New Moon Girls magazine together to give girls a place to express themselves and make the world better. I believe you agree that growing up should mean increasing opportunities as well as responsibilities for our daughters.  It should mean increasing respect and rewards for their intelligence, creativity, and skills.  It should mean they have access to equal education and healthcare, including effective pregnancy prevention.  It should mean they have the freedom to walk down the street or go on a date without worrying they might be attacked just because they are female.


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GIRLS FORUM: Deborah Tolman on Enhancing the Resiliency of Girls

February 3, 2009 posted by admin We asked advocates and scholars working on issues affecting girls’ lives to address the national conversation on girl’s needs, desires, and rights. What would they like to see changed?  Below is the first response in this week’s forum: Health is not just the absence of disease or risk.  It is the ability to live in a healthy body, with a healthy mind and spirit.   Girls need more than the elimination of risks and dangers in their lives, environments, schools, neighborhoods, homes. They need the encouragement and information that can enable them to live in the positive.   Most government funded research focuses on what, how and sometimes why negative practices, forces, impacts can be eradicated.   How about some effort, energy and resources getting behind what works for diverse girls?  What girls need to enhance their resilience not just to minimize their risks?


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: Elizabeth Holtzman Demands We Not Forget About Women

January 9, 2009 posted by admin New years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now.  Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people.  I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office.  The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives.  Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims.  With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor?  Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children.  I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.


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