People of Earth – Gender Impressions in the Mass Media


Imagine that you are from another planet and know nothing about gender expectations in American society. All you have to rely on are the TV broadcasts you are picking up from high above Earth in your spaceship.

For this discussion, search for relatively recent commercials on youtube (i.e., 2000-Present Day) related to any of the following topics:

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Fast Food
Beer or other Alcohol
Cleaning Supplies (laundry detergent or pens, dish soap, swiffers/mops, etc.)
Snack Foods

Pick at least 3 ads (they can be from different categories), and examine them for clues about what is required of human women and men in American society. Spend some time looking at your ads’ depictions of men and women; being from outer space, these ads are your only reference for learning about this unfamiliar culture.

Then, write back to your friends on your home planet about what you’ve learned. Include links to the videos (you can embed the videos in your post using the tools in the menu bar). Have fun with your message, just be sure that your message addresses the following questions in some way:

What are men expected to be like in American society? How should they look, dress, behave, etc.?
What are women expected to be like in American society? How should they look, dress, behave, etc.?
Given what you’ve seen in these ads, how should yoour home world prepare to make its first contact with humans on Earth?