Two professors at The Carlson School of Management have finished a study on the most effective way to use sex in ads when targeting men and women. They came to the conclusion that sexual references sell better to men in all cases. But for women, the references work best if they are a part of, or connected to a relationship. Their advice is to market products to men and women in completely different ways.
We think that using the study for this purpose consolidates existing gender roles and lets the profit of the market rule. This would otherwise have been an opportunity to change the norms as they are discovered. To keep conveying to men the fact that sex can be an amusing thing, free from responsibility simply enforces established norms. The fact that more intrusive commercials are a consequence of a market economy is clear. The sexualization in ads is outrageous and marketing to the sexes is even more troubling. To achieve equality in society, these things need to change radically as well. We call for everyone to stay critical to images and information in commercials. Read an article about the study here