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Economics of Sex in Advertising: Are Men More Receptive to the Provocation?

Osuagwu, Eze (2014): Economics of Sex in Advertising: Are Men More Receptive to the Provocation? Published in: Australian International Journal of Humanities and Social Studies , Vol. 1, No. 1 (July 2014): pp. 31-39.

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Abstract

In this paper, the central objective is to analyze the visual rhetoric of selected fashion ads in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Maxim and GQ (Gentlemen Quarterly), to show how sexually explicit images of the female body is used to sell products to consumers, and to determine whether this is in response to the fact that the male is prone to gratuitous sex than the female. In this instance, I analyze the images from ads in female fashion magazines Vogue and Cosmopolitan in comparison to ads in male magazines Maxim and GQ, using tropes of sexuality and femininity. I provide basic insights to the nature of advertisements in contemporary fashion magazines, drawing on two theoretical frameworks rooted in the evolutionary and socialization models of human sexuality; the social exchange theory and the sexual economic theory espoused by Baumeister et al. (2001). The inference deduced from the theoretical constructs in the literature show that men are more economically empowered to taking decisions in the sex bargain and have a higher propensity to consume sexually explicit images of women in advertisements.

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