Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Lesley Turner


This thesis looked at the portrayal of women in advertising in general appeal magazines, particularly Life Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Vanity Fair. This study's objective was to see if women were still being portrayal similarly to past portrayals, which tended to depict women stereotypically. The literature review states that women are commonly portrayed as sex objects, concerned with looks, decorative, and domestic. In more recent ads, women are also being portrayed as nontraditionally and as working. This study is a content analysis and looked at all the ads, that contained at least one woman, and quantitatively analyzed their portrayal. The findings suggest that there have been some improvements as far as the portrayal of women in advertising, but there have also been some setbacks. This - study found that women in 1996 general appeal magazine advertisements are still being portrayed stereotypically, but that this is decreasing.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1998 Anne Fairchild McVey.