Commercial Messages Shaping Gender Stereotypes & Behaviour in City Spaces

signs for stores and adverts

As part of the XYX Lab’s larger research project about sexual violence in cities, Dr Salen conducted an observational analysis of branding, advertising and language accounts of women and girls. Using coding and photographic documentation, Dr Salen analysed and synthesised the data for tendencies, tensions and trends into the everyday occurrence of sexual harassment and assault faced by women and girls. 

Close observation of the branding signage, advertising and language used in a number of the areas revealed gendered syntax and visual patterns that may be contributing factors to a feelings of safety or lack of safety by women and girls in these areas.

Further research is being conducted in a collaborative research project between Monash university and RMIT University into understanding if gendered brand syntax is a factor that might contribute to sexual harassment or violence against women in urban space and if this contributes to aggressive attitudes or fear in general.