Bernstein, Arielle. “Insatiable: how offensive is Netflix’s controversial new comedy?” The Guardian, 8 Aug. 2018,

The non-peer-reviewed source is an article under the Culture section of The Guardian and discusses the inadvertent prejudices found in the teen Netflix TV Series Insatiable, thus acting as a useful barometer for current sexism that remains in modern television. For example, the article notes the incessant obsession with the leading character Patty’s body beyond mere satire, with nearly every scene either uniformly praising her size when thinner or fully deriding her body prior to her weight loss, as seen in numerous unflattering camera angles, to the point of mocking her, and the portrayal of the overweight female with a fat-suit, which many viewed as utterly tone-deaf, while simultaneously failing to portray overweight men. However, as with any critique, this work should not be taken as complete fact; other counterarguments can be produced, such as the primary character ultimately finding the aim of becoming thinner futile, as its popularity is hinted as being vapid and merely superficial. However, nonetheless, the article does portray a key flaw that persists with modern television.


Powell, Kimberly A., and Lori Abels. “Sex-Role Stereotypes in TV Programs Aimed at the Preschool Audience: An Analysis of Teletubbies and Barney & Friends.”Women and Language, vol. 25, no. 1, 2002, pp. 14. ProQuest,

The source stated above is a peer-reviewed study released in the journal Women and Language that analyzed gender representation in pre-school television shows such as Barney and Teletubbies. Within the study, 10 episodes each in the aforementioned television series were analyzed to determine the percentage of male versus female characters and the most common roles portrayed by each gender. After review from numerous authors, it was determined that although “male” and “female” characters were equally represented, each gender generally performed different roles, with male characters generally leading activities and female characters guiding the audience and following male characters in Teletubbies and male and female characters holding stereotypical roles as adventurous leaders and cooking tradition-bearers, mimicking the traditional female role as a housewife, respectively, in Barney. More importantly, however, these patterns of activity are valuable as a source due to its date of release and television’s influence on developing children; considering that the average child spends upwards of 4.5 hours watching television, the views portrayed by television can imprint onto millions of children across the US, and due to its release date in 2002, it can be seen as an indicator of gender representation in the early 2000s.


Chandler, Daniel, and Merris Griffiths. “Gender-Differentiated Production Features in Toy Commercials.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 44, no. 3, 2000, pp. 503-520. ProQuest,

The source above is a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media regarding the composition of commercials aimed at boys, as opposed to girls. As noted in the study, even commercials exhibited signs of gender differentiation, with boy-targeted advertisements generally portraying greater action, as shown by an increase in the number and decrease in the length of scenes, girl-targeted advertisements generally utilizing softer transitions, thus implying a more sheltered audience, and all advertisements generally having a greater likelihood of a male voice-over, as opposed to a female voice-over. As a result, this indicates that even through non-verbal modes, it is evident that boys, at the time of publication, were perceived as more active and leaderly, while girls were perceived as more sheltered and calm, thus necessitating the design of the children’s commercials and perpetuating the stereotypes of male and female gender roles  Although this may seem insignificant, this, in fact, can serve as an indication of contemporary perceptions of gender in the late 1990s, due to its publication in Summer 2000.


Myers, Kristen. “”Cowboy Up!”: Non-Hegemonic Representations of Masculinity in Children’s Television Programming.” Journal of Men’s Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, 2012, pp. 125-143. ProQuest,

The source above is a peer-reviewed analysis published in the Journal of Men’s Studies regarding the portrayal of characters in Disney’s The Suite Life on Deck, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Nickelodeon’s iCarly. Through an analysis of 65 episodes in total, it was noted that although 14 out of 16 males in the television series above were non-hegemonic, or non-domineering and non-sexual, ultimately, all characters were affected by the existing hegemonic order, as predatory male characters ultimately swayed other male characters, to the point of characters such as Woody stating “I worship this man,” in relation to Zack, a cunning yet malicious sexual male in The Suite Life On Deck, and non-hegemonic characters cross dressing or being homoerotic, such as Cody in Suite Life, acting as a mere punchline, rather than a developed characteristic. Unlike other sources, this source is extremely valuable due to its analysis of relatively modern television aimed at girls and adolescent females; by identifying non-dominant males as mere gags aspiring to become as insensitive as the top of the male social hierarchy to attract females, the study signals that even by 2010, children’s television remained stunted in its portrayal of complex male characters.


Leung Ng, Yu, and Kara Chan. “Do Females in Advertisements Reflect Adolescents’ Ideal Female Images?” The Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 31, no. 3, 2014, pp. 170-176. ProQuest,

The source above is a peer-reviewed analysis published in The Journal of Consumer Marketing regarding the influence of advertisements in the self-portrayal of Chinese adolescents. Through interviews of a random selection of adolescents regarding the appearance of female actresses in Chinese advertisements, it was noted that when given the choice between a married, beautiful actress, a wilder and single actress, and an “urban sophisticated female” in the third advertisement, the adolescent females aspired to become the first and third actresses while shunning the second actress, thus indicative of a broader cultural desire for both traditional family structures and sophistication. Although the study focused on Chinese adolescents, its value remains clear, as it indicates that across cultural boundaries, commercials can universally affect one’s self-image of male and female roles, especially as an adolescent. In addition, as a study published in 2014, it is most indicative of current cultural beliefs regarding societal roles.


Browne, Beverly A. “Gender Stereotypes in Advertising on Children’s Television in the 1990S: A Cross-National Analysis.” Journal of Advertising, vol. 27, no. 1, Spring98, pp. 83-96. EBSCOhost,

The source above is a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Advertising describing children’s television and advertisements throughout the 1990s in the US and Australia. Through a thorough analysis of random advertisements, it was noted that boys were depicted, like in popular culture, as more intelligent and stronger, as seen in the fact that nearly all voiceovers occurred through male actors, in addition to the assertion of males in leadership positions, while females were depicted as demurer, as seen in females being more likely to defer to boys. In addition, a boy-to-girl ratio was noted as increasing with age, to the point that adolescent advertisements contained 70% male actors. Unlike other sources, however, this source, as one of the oldest, acts as a milestone when compared to modern portrayals; unlike previously, modern television is less likely to portray gender roles as explicitly, although it is true that gender roles remain extremely prevalent.