Study: More Gays Appear In Ads, Link Material Consumption To Self-Worth

The number of “gays depicted in advertising has soared,” according to a new study from the University of Miami School of Communication and published in the Journal of Advertising by assistant professor Wan-Hsiu “Sunny” Tsai. The research notes that “Ikea was one of the first companies to have an American commercial that depicted two gay men shopping for a dining table together” in 1994, and today “gays and lesbians appear frequently in products that tend to experiment with edgy and unconventional imagery, such as fashion, design and alcohol.” The study explored how gay-themed commercials informed and shaped personal identities and found that “Gay men accepted the perception of ‘higher disposable income of gay male households’ and transformed material consumption into a definition of self-worth.”