This module contains an assignment about the use of sex in advertising. Contents include a task sheet for students as well as overhead templates, copies of ads, and instructions for the teachers.
The major learning goal is to have stdents understand how to evaluate the impact and use of sex in advertising. A secondary learning goal is for students to understand how print media uses sex to sell products.
Target Student Population:
The target student population includes high school Juniors and Seniors.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The information is fairly basic so students do not need any special knowledge pertaining to advertising. However, some of the terminology used in the task sheet is a little challenging so students need to have a strong vocabulary.
Type of Material:
The material is most appropriate as a supplement for teachers rather than a site for student use. Students will need some guidance and input to gain an appropriate understanding of the material.
This material is recommended to be used by teachers working with their students to generage class discussion. It should not be used by the students alone.
Evaluation and Observation
The module provides good material for teachers who want to discuss the implications of sex and advertising in their classes. It is good subject matter to catch the attention of juniors and seniors in high school.
The point of the exercise is that "sex sells" and sex is certainly used that way in some advertising, but not in all of the media advertising. This point is not made in the lesson. It also would seem logical that the milk advertisements would have a female spokesperson to be more sexual in nature than the male spokesperson since the male spokesperson is an actor on TV, while the female spokesperson is a fashion model. The milk campaign uses advertising that plays off of the skills and/or fame of the celebrity in the advertisement- perhaps the advertisement should be of a male fashion model so that the advertisements are more equivalent to each other. The ads presented are biased in the way they present the genders. The range of products represented was narrow. The module would be a little better if the author had found a broader representation.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
It is much easier to teach a subject if the students are interested in the subject. This is an interesting subject matter so the students will be more interested than other academic areas. There could be some potentially good discussion as to the purpose of advertising and the role that sexuality plays in the advertisement of some goods and services.
This lesson plan gives some background to the teacher concerning the multiple meaning of sex; however, it would be useful for there to be more background and explanation of the possible areas that discussion could be focused on. High school students need carefully guided discussions to go along with this material.
There are many words used in the lesson that students may struggle with (i.e.,
manifestation, ethereal, juxtaposition, etc.)
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The only technical piece of equipment that would be needed here would be a projector, so any technical difficulties should be at a minimum. This lesson would require a good deal of preparation on the part of the teacher.
This teaching tool would require the teacher to give a tremendous amount of guidance to the class. It could very easily become a three ring circus if the teacher loses control of the classroom due to the subject matter. Students may view this as easy material, but miss the important aspects if they are not properly guided through the material.