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Dad stereotypes abound in TV ads

Sociologist says ads continue to show men as clumsy, work-focused and not very good at housework or childcare

TELEVISION ads in France are reinforcing sexist stereotypes about fathers, according to a study published ahead of Father's Day this weekend.

The research by sociologist Eric Macé for professional equality body Orse, found the majority of ads portrayed fathers as clumsy, incompetent or unwilling to take part in household tasks.

The study was based on 43 TV ads featuring fathers that have aired between 2002 and last year.

Mr Macé said that although more men are now featuring in ads doing housework, their resistance to the job or inability to do it properly is often shown.

He said the ads attempted to convey the idea that "housework and looking after child are not normal activities for men - and that there are products available to help them out."

The school run was frequently shown in ads as a miracle feat when done by a man, as he races against time to get to work. Another ad shows a man using his wife's pregnancy as an excuse to buy a new car.

Men shown cooking meals in the ads frequently wore aprons to show it was not part of their ordinary daily activity.
Father's Day is this coming Sunday, June 20, in both France and the UK.

Photo: pixarno - Fotolia.com

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