Adolescence, Advertising, and the Ideology of Menstruation

Adolescence, Advertising, and the Ideology of Menstruation Since the 1920s, American advertisers haverecognized the taboo associated with menstruation andhave incorporated messages about the social consequencesof “showing” into feminine hygieneadvertising. In order to answer the research question“do advertisements that target girls perpetuate ordispel myths and taboos associated withmenstruation?” a content analysis was conducted onten years of feminine hygiene advertising in Seventeen and Teenmagazines (1987-1997). Categories included an analysisof the setting and the themes used in theadvertisements. The findings suggest that the ads dorely on headlines and themes that hearken to the past. However,unlike earlier studies that found the ads presentmenstruation as a “hygienic crisis,”focusing on shame, physical discomfort, and fears, thisstudy found something more encouraging-that the body copy of theseads is working to dispel these myths. Racialrepresentation in ads, however, remains troublesome asblack models are rarely shown unaccompanied by whitemodels. These findings are important to researchers,advertising practitioners, and consumers as magazineadvertising has become a key agent of socialization foradolescent girls. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Adolescence, Advertising, and the Ideology of Menstruation

Sex Roles , Volume 40 (12) – Sep 30, 2004

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1999 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
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