Gender differences in the responses and attitudes of young adults towards sexual appeals in advertising

Thorne, Sophie (2018) Gender differences in the responses and attitudes of young adults towards sexual appeals in advertising. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Sexual appeals are a specific marketing technique which are frequently used in advertising. They are effective in grabbing the consumer’s attention, however previous literature has demonstrated that the successful implementation of sexual appeals depends largely on the target audience and product relevance. If a sexual appeal is not appropriate, it can create negative attitudes towards the advertisement. This ultimately leads to negative associations with the product or brand being promoted.

The aim of this research study is to explore gender differences of young adults in response to sexual appeals in advertising. The primary data collection method for this study is the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique, which includes several steps in order to elicit metaphors and constructs from participants. The technique is also comprised of semi- structured, in-depth interviews which are focused around visual images that the participant brings to the interview.

The findings of this study confirm the premise that men and women respond differently to sexual appeals in advertising. The study further validates previous literature which demonstrates that women respond in a less positive way to sexual appeals than men. Additionally, the findings reveal that both genders provide similar definitions regarding themes of arousal, intense and explicit. However, it is clear that their perceptions of what makes an image this way differ substantially due to a difference in sexual attitudes. Another finding shows that the female and male participants find physical attractiveness to be an important factor regarding sexual appeals, especially in relation to an arousing image. This contradicts previous studies which demonstrate that men value physical attractiveness much more than females.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Thorne, Sophie
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 13:49
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 13:49

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