Sexuality in Modern American Advertising Essay

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This phenomenon objectifies women by suggesting (at least implicitly) that only the opinions and sensibilities of the most attractive females, such as the models featured in advertisements, are worthwhile. The mere absence of females of average and less-than-average relative physical attractiveness from commercial advertising conditions everyone in society to ignore women unless they are particularly sexually attractive. Besides being unfair to women who happen not to look like the models in commercial advertising, this also devalues any legitimate talents and the intelligence and meaningful contributions of women who do happen to be relatively attractive. It creates the natural inference that attractive women who are successful achieved their success by virtue of their physical appearance instead of their other attributes.

In addition to objectifying women as though they are nothing more than their relative level of physical attractiveness, the overwhelming focus on sexuality and female attractiveness in commercial advertising also denigrates men. It suggests that men whose female partners do not look like the models in commercial advertising are less worthy or accomplished than men whose partners do look more like those images of females.

Exploiting Female Sexuality to Market Fraudulent Products:

Perhaps the best examples of the extent to which contemporary advertisers will go to exploit female sexuality for profit are the commercial advertising campaigns for ridiculous products such as the ExtenZe line of supplements promoted to enhance male penis size. That particular product is currently being marketed in hour-long "infomercials" broadcast on television during late-night hours.

From the perspective of ethics in commercial advertising, the ExtenZe commercials are offensive on multiple different levels. First, there is no such thing as any oral supplement capable of increasing the size of the penis. The ExtenZe commercials purposely use very vague references and euphemisms for "penis" such as "special part of male anatomy" in an apparent attempt to comply with the letter if not the spirit of laws that prohibit dishonest statements in advertising. Likewise, they include very obscure printed language at the bottom of the screen advising that the product is designed "for entertainment purposes only."

Second, the ExtenZe commercials purposely create the false impression that the production is a talk show called "Sex Talk" rather than a paid hour-long advertisement. Third, the commercials feature attractive young female models and actresses who are paid for their participation and dressed in sexually provocative attire to capture male attention and suggest that these are the types of women to whom users of the product will become more attractive and desirable. Fourth, the advertisement series also denigrates women by suggesting that all they want from men is a large penis. In that regard, the main topic of the scripted dialogue among the female models pertains to their specific preference for men who are "bigger and wider." One of the women complains that she waited her entire life for a man with a large and wide enough penis to satisfy her and recounts her disappointment at having begun a relationship only to discover that her man failed to "measure up." The obvious intent of the commercials (and the entire commercial venture) is obviously to exploit females while simultaneously exploiting the common male insecurity about relative penis size. In so doing, the commercials manage to insult the worth of females, the self-esteem of males, and the value of…

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references and euphemisms for "penis" such as "special part of male anatomy" in an apparent attempt to comply with the letter if not the spirit of laws that prohibit dishonest statements in advertising. Likewise, they include very obscure printed language at the bottom of the screen advising that the product is designed "for entertainment purposes only."

Second, the ExtenZe commercials purposely create the false impression that the production is a talk show called "Sex Talk" rather than a paid hour-long advertisement. Third, the commercials feature attractive young female models and actresses who are paid for their participation and dressed in sexually provocative attire to capture male attention and suggest that these are the types of women to whom users of the product will become more attractive and desirable. Fourth, the advertisement series also denigrates women by suggesting that all they want from men is a large penis. In that regard, the main topic of the scripted dialogue among the female models pertains to their specific preference for men who are "bigger and wider." One of the women complains that she waited her entire life for a man with a large and wide enough penis to satisfy her and recounts her disappointment at having begun a relationship only to discover that her man failed to "measure up." The obvious intent of the commercials (and the entire commercial venture) is obviously to exploit females while simultaneously exploiting the common male insecurity about relative penis size. In so doing, the commercials manage to insult the worth of females, the self-esteem of males, and the value of their relationships.

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"Sexuality In Modern American Advertising" (2009, September 20) Retrieved December 6, 2019, from
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"Sexuality In Modern American Advertising" 20 September 2009. Web.6 December. 2019. <
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"Sexuality In Modern American Advertising", 20 September 2009, Accessed.6 December. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/sexuality-in-modern-american-advertising-19284