ECON3340 Saint Marys Gender Stereotypes in Toys Ads for Children Analysis

For this lab assignment you will be collecting your own research data. In a YouTube video on Toy Ads and Learning Gender, the commentator makes the argument that companies are marketing toys for girls and boys differently and in a manner that reinforces gender stereotypes. Is she correct? This is an empirical question and your task is to address this question. You need to measure the extent of gender stereotyping in some children’s toy advertisements.


You need to watch eight different children’s toy advertisements. Four of the toy ads need to be targeting girls and four ads need to be for boys. We will define the ads as marketed towards girls if the actors in the commercial are predominately female. Likewise, commercials geared towards boys will have actors that are predominately male. Consider watching commercials you have recorded or can easily watch again. You will find it useful to re-watch segments for more accurate observations.

Using the Observation Record form provided on Moodle, keep track of the number of instances of stereotype references in the ads targeting the two genders. Before watching the ads though, make sure you determine clear operational definitions of what you mean by male and female gender stereotypes to guide your coding**. We will be testing the commentator’s claims about what is typically found in the marketing for girls as opposed to boys, so make sure your operational definitions are in line with what she is saying. You also need to be clear enough in your definition that someone else can use your definition to watch the same ads and derive the same results.

Once you have finished recording your observations on the Observation Record Form, you will need to calculate your total number of observations for different types of stereotypes for the ads geared towards boys and girls. You will then have to calculate the mean (i.e., average) scores across ads. The mean score is calculated by adding the totals across the four ads for a particular category and then dividing by the number of ads (i.e., 4). Once you have this information you are ready to answer the questions below.

Please be sure to:

1. Hand in both your answers to the questions as well as your Observation Record form.

2. Type your answers to the questions. Handwritten assignments will not be accepted. The Observation Record can be filled in by hand or typing.

3. Completely fill in the Observation Record form. It will be graded as well. This includes providing the relevant information about the cartoons chosen including their names, the time they aired (or when you watched/recorded it if it airs multiple times), and the length of the cartoons.

4. Include your name (first and last) and student number with your answers to the questions. Also include your name on the Observation Record form.

5. Staple everything together.


1. In this study, what is your population? What is your sample? Describe how you selected your sample and why. (1 marks)

2. How did you operationally define female and male stereotypes? Explain how your operational definitions were informed by the YouTube video. Provide a specific example from an ad or two that you watched to illustrate the two different operation definitions. Be sure to explain how your examples fit your operational definitions. (3 marks)

3. Do your results support the commentator’s argument that companies are marketing toys differently to boys and girls? Explain why you draw the conclusion that you do. Make sure you refer to your results to help inform your conclusion. (2 marks + 1 mark for the actual observation record)

4. Re-read about Bandura’s research on observational learning in your textbook (pg. 223-225). Also consider the article I posted by Chopra (2018). She documents a similar analysis to ours conducted in India. How might the findings from these studies on observational learning help you consider the possible implications of what you found? Be sure to use your results to support your conclusions. (2 marks)

5. Why is gender stereotyping even a problem? Use personal opinion, the youtube video, Chopra’s article and any other source you care to refer to. (1 mark)

< a href="/order">