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This paper focuses on the comparison of how people in the United States perceive sexuality in advertising and how negative reactions may be prevented or counteracted. Through the analyzing of multiple articles on the perception of sexuality, data was analyzed to find that in most situations, the use of sexuality in advertising negatively affects the sale of a product. This is because of a reduction of brand recall and the fact that many consumers, mainly women, find overt sexuality in a public advertisement offensive; however all of these negative effects can either be prevented or offset. If the product at hand has a pre-existing sexual connotation, there is no worry about the advertisement being viewed negatively. While brand recall is decreased due to sexuality, the attention paid to the advertisement is increased and while women dislike sexuality, sexuality in the context of a relationship increases the positivity of a woman’s views. All of these negative effects show that sexuality in advertising must be dealt with carefully in order for the message portrayed to both be remembered by consumers and to be viewed in a positive light by consumers. These findings allow readers understand if sexuality in advertising sells and if so, in what situations it does. The implications of this research can allow advertisers and companies to understand which products would benefit from sexuality in advertising and how to treat the sexuality in advertising to prevent negative effects on the product or even the brand itself.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

English, Psychology

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Mary Boyes


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Negative Perception of Sexuality in Advertising And the Counterarguments or Solutions to These Reactions