Studying Media Literacy: Kids Take on Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

Jennifer Gladkowski


I’d tell him to make his own darn coffee!” one sixth grader quipped, in response to viewing a black-and-white Folgers coffee television ad from the 1960s. In it, a perky young wife serves her husband a cup of coffee with a chipper, “Your coffee, sir.”

The husband, after taking a sip, grimaces and complains, “How can such a pretty wife make such bad coffee?”

“I heard that!” pouts the wife, who then pays a visit to her older and wiser neighbor, Mrs. Olson, who introduces her to Folgers “mountain grown coffee.” Now armed with the Folgers, the wife tries again, serving her husband with another obedient, “Your coffee, sir.”

The husband sips, this time exclaiming, “How can such a pretty wife make such great coffee?!”

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