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Gender and Behaviour

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A linguistic (discourse) analysis of language, gender and sexuality in advertising in Nigeria

Oyedokun Alli Wasiu Ademola

Abstract


There is a forging of links among the tripod of gender, language, and sexuality in advertising. Since 1930s, the use of erotic appeal has continued to oc cupy pre-eminent position in most advertising, the ultimate aim being to boost the popularity and acceptance of a particular product and secure brand loyalty. This paper examines the deployment of gender, language and sexuality as an arsenal to achieve these aims. It burrows into the various techniques through which the advertiser achieves these: nudity, sexually-suggestive words, use of innuendoes to play on words, sexual behavior, personal attractiveness (especially models), sexual references, lens focus, voice twisting, etc. The paper employs the Linguistic (Discourse) Analysis approach in analyzing the 20 respondents on equal scale and finds that despite wide criticisms and protestations of Freudian psychoanalysis, sexuality has continued to influence peoples’ though t and behavior, especially with regard to choice of goods and services. It concludes that there are a plethora of advertisements of brands not traditionally linked to sex but are laced withsexuality.
The study recommends a general censor of product advertisements with a view to guarding against “wild claims” or outright deception of the unsuspecting public.

Keywords: Gender, Language, Sexuality, Linguistic, Discourse Analysis, Advertising, Products




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