Femininity in Oral Contraceptive Advertisements Argumentative Essay

Looks at how the way in which pharmaceutical companies in their advertisements portray female sexuality and femininity defines the concept of what is feminine for American and Canadian society.
# 149341 | 4,135 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2008 | CA

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This paper argues that the advertisements by the pharmaceutical companies structure gender roles or appropriate ways of being a woman and imply inappropriate gender behavior through a highly selective and limited portrayal of the ways in which female sexuality can be expressed. Next, the author relates the conflicts and contradictions that arise between what is considered appropriate female sexuality in birth control advertisements and what is considered appropriate by other areas of American society, such as religious institutions and the institution of family. The paper explains that the intersections of gender with ethnicity, class and ability may influence how different women perceive these advertisements and thus perform their gender roles. Based on these insights, the paper includes a suggested policy brief by the author regarding oral contraceptive advertisements.

From the Paper:

"Second, and specific to the context of an oral contraceptive advertisement, not only are the lacking types of women in the alesse advertisements made into others, but they are made into others who are less likely to be sexually active or sexually desired. Since only one type of female body is depicted in the ads, there is an implication that women who do not have this type of body are not in need of, or at least less likely to be in need of, a product that allows women to be sexually active while preventing pregnancy. The use of only women conventionally attractive women in the ads sends a message that those types of women are most likely to frequently engage in sex for non-reproductive purposes, and therefore, are the women most likely to be desired by men, able to express themselves sexually and experience sexual pleasure most frequently. Women who are not white, thin, under the age of 30, able-bodied are left out entirely, as if they are unlikely to have opportunities to engage in sex for pleasure because they do not meet superficial standards of femininity. Tied into the first implication that conventionally attractive women are more in need of oral contraceptives is a second implication that those women are more likely to have successful careers, high levels of education, or any position where preventing pregnancy is an asset."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Granzow, Kara. "De-constructing 'Choice: The Social Imperative and women's use of the birth control Pill." Culture, Health and Sexuality. 9.1 (2007): 43 -54. Web. 8 Nov. 2009.
  • Holiday, Ruth. "Media and Popular Culture." Introducing Gender and Women's Studies. 3rd ed.
  • Ed. Diane Richardson and Victoria Robinson. Basingstoke: Palgave Macmillan, 2008. 87 -204. Print.
  • "I'm on Alesse." YouTube, 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 2 Dec. 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baBmbGnlOQc.
  • Loshny, Helen. "From Birth Control To Menstrual Control: The Launch of the Extended Oral Contraceptive, Seasonale." Canadian Woman Studies. 24.1 (2004): 63 - 67. Web. 8 Nov. 2009.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Femininity in Oral Contraceptive Advertisements (2011, December 07) Retrieved March 31, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/femininity-in-oral-contraceptive-advertisements-149341/

MLA Format

"Femininity in Oral Contraceptive Advertisements" 07 December 2011. Web. 31 March. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/femininity-in-oral-contraceptive-advertisements-149341/>