Gender Messages in Alcohol Advertising - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grade 7 to 10

Author: MediaSmarts

Production of this lesson has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.


In this lesson, students think critically about culturally inherited gender stereotypes, and explore how stereotypes about men and women are promoted and reinforced through the images and messages in alcohol ads. In the first half of the lesson, students discuss the nature of gender stereotypes, common male and female stereotypes, and where these stereotypes come from. Students also explore why adolescents are a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to stereotypes about gender and gender relationships. In the second half, students view and discuss alcohol ads that integrate gender stereotypes into messaging about drinking. Following this, students deconstruct alcohol ads from men's and women's magazines. In a final group activity, students create and administer surveys to other students in order to determine the awareness, exposure and influence of stereotypes in alcohol ads.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate

an understanding of:

  • what a gender stereotype is
  • the limiting and often negative consequences of stereotyping, particularly as it relates to gender

an awareness of:

  • stereotypes commonly associated with women and men and the sources of these perceptions and attitudes
  • how alcohol companies integrate gender stereotypes into their ads in order to influence alcohol consumption
  • how they may be influenced by gender messages
  • how they may be influenced by messages about drinking in alcohol ads

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.