Non Verbal Cues and Gender Bias in Select Indian TV Advertisements

K. Saradhambika


Gender and Media, especially gender portrayal in advertisements, have been researched and discussed over the years leading to many changes in the way women are portrayed in the ads. Have we reached a stage where our ads depict equality? While explicit discriminatory references and objectification of women have reduced, there are non-verbal cues in the advertisements that reiterate the gender stereotypes, playing on the psyche of the consumers, thereby further strengthening the biases. This study analysed selected Indian TV ads based on three non-verbal parameters: Kinesics, Paralanguage, and Environment Setting to validate the hypothesis. The evidence in these ads reinforces the age-old stereotypes of men being career-focused, assertive and independent, whereas women are shown as loving wives and mothers, responsible for raising children and doing housework. It is time for our media industry to actively look at the subtle and non-verbal messaging that continues to propagate sales and revisit the content in the light of their moral responsibility towards society. As we work towards total integration of gender roles, it is important for advertisements to provide appropriate gender representation and powerful models of behaviour to emulate.


Gender Bias in Media, Gender Inequality, Non-verbal Communication in Indian TV ads, Gender in Indian TV Ads, Gender Portrayal in Advertisements, Gender Stereotypes in TV Ads

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