An Investigation of Androgyny and Sexual Orientation in Advertising: How Androgynous Imagery and Sexual Orientation Impact Advertisement and Brand Attitudes

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This research examines the effect of advertising imagery, sexual orientation, and gender on customer attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the brand. When viewing separate advertisements featuring a female, a male, or an androgynous model, heterosexual subjects had significantly lower evaluations of the androgynous advertisement and significantly higher evaluations of the female advertisement. In a second study, an androgynous model representing a luxury brand received significantly higher evaluations than when associated with a nonluxury brand. Male subjects offered significantly lower evaluations of the androgynous advertisements than other subjects. The combined results suggest that advertisements featuring androgynous imagery may evoke diverse responses from mainstream and LGBTQ+ consumer segments.

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Journal of Advertising Research, v. 61, issue 3, p. 276-288

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