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Sexism and the effectiveness of femvertising in China: A corporate social responsibility perspective


Teng, F., Hu, J., Chen, Z., Poon, K. T., & Bai, Y. (2021). Sexism and the effectiveness of femvertising in China: A corporate social responsibility perspective. Sex Roles, 84, 253-270.

2020 Impact Factor 4.154 | 5-year Impact Factor 4.645

2020 JCR Rank 1/44, Q1 in Women Studies | 2020 SJR Rank 4/151, Q1 in Social Science - Gender Studies


The present study draws on theories and prior research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and gender attitudes (i.e., sexism) to understand young Chinese peoples’ responses toward women-empowering advertising (i.e., femvertising). We conducted two experiments in which male and female Chinese college students (232 in Study 1 and 231 in Study 2) were exposed to either women-empowering or control advertisements (traditional ad in Study 1 and gender-irrelevant ad in Study 2) and reported their attitudes about the ads as well as their purchase intentions toward the advertised products (shampoo and smartphone, respectively). In line with our predictions, both experiments showed that messaging about women’s empowerment in advertising can induce perceptions of CSR, thereby increasing favorable responses such as enhanced positive ad attitudes and increased purchase intentions toward the advertised products. Moreover, hostile sexism was negatively associated with consumer responses toward femvertising such that the lower participants’ hostile sexism, the more positive ad attitudes and stronger purchase intent participants they reported. However, benevolent sexism was not predictive of consumer responses toward femvertising. These results offer insights into people’s responses toward women-empowering advertisements and also have practical implications for advertisers and marketers who are interested in using such an advertising tactic to promote products and services.

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