Toplumsal Cinsiyetin Çocuk Reklâmları Aracılığıyla İnşası: Türk Televizyonlarındaki Çocuk Reklâmlarına Yönelik Bir İçerik AnaliziÇiğdem Başfırıncı, Mustafa Altıntaş
Çocuklar iki yaşından itibaren toplumsal cinsiyet rollerini öğrenmeye başlamaktadırlar. Üstelik cinsiyetçi rollere ilişkin kalıp yargılar bir kez öğrenildiğinde, bu yargıların değişimi de oldukça zordur. Bu nedenle, toplumsal cinsiyetçi algılar bir kez oluştuktan sonra, bireylerin bütün hayatını etkileyen en önemli sosyal sınıflandırmalardan birisine dönüşmekte ve bütün toplumun düşünme ve davranış biçimine etki etmektedir. Günümüz tüketim toplumunda reklamlar, erkek ve kız çocuklar için uygun olan davranışların hangileri olduğunun belirlenmesi sürecinde, çocukların maruz kaldığı en güçlü referans noktalarından birini oluşturmaktadır. Bu bağlamda çalışmanın amacı, Türk televizyon kanallarındaki çocuk reklâmlarında yansıtılan toplumsal cinsiyet öğelerini bütünsel olarak ortaya koymak ve böylece toplumsal cinsiyetin inşasında çocuk reklâmlarının göreceli rolünü belirlemektir. Bunun için, Türkiye’de ücretsiz olarak yayın yapan, üçü çocuk kanalı olmak üzere toplam beş televizyon kanalındaki çocuk reklâmlarına 2018 yılı Mart ayında içerik analizi uygulanmıştır. Oyuncak ve yiyecek kategorisinde yer alan reklâmlar, reklâmda kullanılan karakterlerin cinsiyetleri, söylemleri, resmedildikleri mekânlar ve dış sesler gibi toplumsal cinsiyetçi öğeler açısından incelenmiştir. Araştırmanın bulguları Türk televizyonlarında yayınlanan çocuk reklâmlarının, yoğun biçimde toplumsal cinsiyetçi öğeler barındırdığını göstermektedir. Literatüre yansıdığı kadarıyla Türkiye’de bu alandaki çalışmaların sınırlı oluşu, bu araştırmanın bulgularını kültürel açıdan özgün kılmaktadır.
The Construction of Gender through Children’s Advertisements: A Content Analysis of Children’s Adver- tisements on Turkish TV ChannelsÇiğdem Başfırıncı, Mustafa Altıntaş
As early as 2 years of age children are aware of and affected by gender roles and these role perceptions are resistant to change. Thus, as one of the important social categorizations in human life, once gender stereotypes are created, and maintained by individual level, which in turn predict the way of thinking and behaving of whole society. In contemporary consumption culture, advertisements constitute one of widely used reference points in clearly determining which behaviors are appropriate for boys and which are appropriate for girls. Thus, the purpose of this study is to analyze gender portrayals in children’s advertisements in a holistic way, and determine the relative role of advertisements toward children in producing gender roles. In this context, in March 2018, a content analysis was conducted for advertisements targeted to children on total of five Turkish nationwide TV channels (three of them are specific to children). Advertisements in the toy and food categories have been examined in terms of gender differences such as the sexes, discourses, voiceovers, and the places used in advertisements. To the best to our knowledge, the limited number of current studies in Turkey focusing on children’s advertisements with regard to gender portrayals in Turkey constitutes the original contribution of this paper.
As early as 2 years of age, children are aware of and affected by gender roles and these role perceptions are resistant to change. Thus, as one of the important social categorizations in human life, once gender stereotypes are created and maintained by individual level, which in turn predict the way of thinking and behaving of whole society. In contemporary consumption culture, advertisements constitute one of widely used reference points in clearly determining which behaviors are appropriate for boys and which are appropriate for girls. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyze gender portrayals in children’s advertisements for food and toy categories in Turkey in a holistic way and to determine the relative role of advertisements toward children in producing gender roles. Specifically, the specific objectives of this study are to investigate (1) gender portrayals of boys and girls in children’s advertisements, (2) whether girls were more likely than boys to be shown in domestic settings, and what settings were predominant for boys, (3) number of male and female spokespersons (voice-overs) used in children’s advertisements and distribution of announcers’ voices, (4) the differences between female and male spokespersons’ discourses, (5) the relationship between the primary character’s sex and the sex of the spokesperson, and finally (6) whether the behavior of character differ according to character’s sex. To address the research objective, in March 2018, a content analysis was conducted for advertisements targeted to children on five Turkish nationwide TV channels (three of them are specific to children). Based on social role, social learning, and cognitive theories those or that explain the process of gender formation, the focus of this research is on the advertisements of children between the ages of five and nine, who have not completed their cognitive development, and who are most likely to be affected by advertisements. In selecting advertisements, the time period during which 5-9 years old children mostly watch television (9-12 am on weekends) was chosen. In this process, we obtained13 food and 42 toy advertisements for a total of 55 aired ads. The coding categories of content analysis were mainly derived from the previous literature considering comparative evaluation of the results. The overall results of this study closely replicate previous studies (Browne, 1998; Johnson and Young, 2002; Martinez et al., 2013) and showed that children’s advertisements exhibited stereotyped behavior for traditional gender roles. Results showed that, in the toy category, advertisements featuring characters of only one sex portrayed traditional stereotypes for male/female roles. More than half of the toy advertisements seem to focus directly on boys or directly on girls using mainly one sex. But the current finding is not entirely congruent with the food category. In the food category, both boys and girls are shown together in more than half of the advertisements (53.84%), but this rate is only 21,42% for toy category. These findings suggest that toy category included more gendered norms when compared to food category. In line with previous findings (Smith, 1994 and Larson, 2001), in these advertisements, girls were more likely to be shown inside the home, while boys generally appeared outdoors such as racing tracks. Expectedly, in terms of spokespersons, findings are consistent with previous studies (Macklin and Kolbe,1984; Furnham and Bitar, 1993; Neto and Furnham, 2005),which show that in children’s advertisements male spokespersons as voice overs were mainly preferred to female ones. Another finding for voice-overs is that it was seen that adult voiceovers were predominantly preferred to child voice-overs. In addition, the findings imply that there is congruence between the sex of the targeted audience and the sex of the spokesperson. Female and male spokespersons’ discourses were also investigated, and significant differences have been observed. Accordingly, the discourse in male voice-overs’ advertisements contains more competitive and active language, while the discourse in female voice-overs contains more collaborative and passive statements. A similar pattern is also obtained between the sex and behavior of the characters. It is seen that the phenomenon of struggle and competition is highlighted in the advertisements where the boys are positioned as the main characters. On the other hand, sharing, charity and friendship cases come to the forefront in advertisements where girls are positioned as the main characters. To summarize, it is seen that in Turkey, the nature of gender role portrayals in children’s advertisements are similar to rest of the world, and the contents of the advertisements intensively include stereotyped behaviors for traditional sex roles. Since gender role perceptions are resistant to change, as Gunter (1995) emphasized, it is better not to establish them in the first place. So, considering the sensitivity of children to TV advertisement messages, advertisements directed specifically at children should be regulated both national and international levels. To the best to our knowledge, given that the limited number of current studies in Turkey focus on children’s advertisements regarding gender portrayals in Turkey, our findings constitute the original contribution of this paper. Cross-national studies can also contribute to the field by assisting policy makers and researchers in developing and monitoring a regulation frame.