The marketing media's portrayal of the contemporary African woman: Impact on the youth in Ghana

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In this study, the researcher examines the impact of the marketing media's sexualized representation of the contemporary African woman on African youth. Using Ghanaian youth, as representatives of the African youth, the researcher explored the youth's perceptions on how the present-day African woman is presented in most advertisements and other media; compared male and female perceptions; and extrapolated the youth's perceptions of media that employ sexualized images of females. For the purposes of the study, a qualitative exploratory phenomenological research design was used. Six Ghanaian youth of varying gender, religion, and university type served as the study participants. The results of the research study included the youth's belief that the media impact on them and society outweighed the impact of society on the media. The media capitalizes on readily available and easily accessible technology often frequented by youth such as Twitter and Instagram. The study revealed that the female youth were not impacted directly by the media's portrayal of women as sexualized images, but the males were. The media's depictions had made the males perceive the contemporary African woman as lacking depth of knowledge and self-respect. They felt that the women were contributing to the problem by accepting the contract or agreement presented to them by the marketing media. According to the youth, the marketing media and firms are concerned with profits alone. Most study participants suggested educating society on gender equality and utilizing public outcry to hold firms accountable. They also recommended mitigating such portrayals of females through policies of governmental agencies to reduce the influence of marketing media on shaping the image of the contemporary African female.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2021
gender stereotypes, Ghanaian media, university students