Media & Communication Department

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hein Michelle Hein
Gender-role Stereotypes in Toy Commercials on Nickelodeon

My research explores the presence of gender-role stereotypes in toy commercials aired during daytime children's programming on the Nickelodeon network. Basing my research on cultivation theory, I was interested in the messages involving gender that these commercials were potentially sending children. Nickelodeon has been ranked the top network in daytime ratings since 1996 and has a reputation for producing quality children's programming; yet, there has been little research dedicated specifically to the network. This content analysis was designed to determine the extent that gender-role stereotypes pervade the commercials within these programs that are claimed to be progressive. Programs were recorded between 2:00 PM and 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday for two weeks in October of 2004. Using a rotated schedule, 178 commercials were coded for gender, age, type of toy, interaction, color and setting using a recording instrument I designed.