Buying Into Sexual Assault: the Affects of Advertisement in Our Society

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Buying into Sexual Assault:
The Affects of Advertisement in our Society

Our minds are impressionable. Whether we know it or not, everything we see and experience affects who we are and how we behave. Advertising is an over 100 billion dollar a year industry and affects all of us throughout our lives. A study in USA Today states that the average American watches about 26-28 hours of television weekly. In one week, they will see 1080 commercials; In one year, that person will have seen 56,160 commercials on television alone. Advertisements sell so much more than products; they sell values, perceptions of success, sexuality, and perfection. They tell us who we are supposed to be, and how we supposed to act. It is startling, to say the least, when a large majority of our advertisements and media depict, and often glorify, sexual assault and domestic violence against women. Consequently, sexual assault and domestic violence in our society reflect the uprising of seemingly “harmless” sexualized views and presented in our media.

Advertisements strongly portray perceptions about gender roles. Men must always be in control, dominating, strong, and violent. Advertisements for popular designers show males in sexually over-powering positions, dominating the weaker, submissive woman. These advertisements not only resemble rape and gang rape, but also glorify it. They teach boys that it is completely normal or acceptable to sexually assault a women, in fact, it seems to be encouraged. Alcohol advertisement tell a similar story. These ads feature captions such as, “Endless Opportunities. Superior Drinkability”, which plays into the idea that men who are superior, can do whatever they want to. An Advertisement for Jade East says “if she doesn’t give it to you, get it yourself”, condoning men to take control and over power. In the United States, on average, one in every six women will experience rape; one in three will be sexually assaulted (RAINN 2005). From...
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