Contraception Advertising in Contemporary India: Gender, Consumerism, and Power
This paper examines how Indian contraception advertising has changed over the last couple of decades, shifting from modest state sponsored family planning campaigns to more risqu? campaigns from private companies in the 1990s. Looking at the KamaSutra brand as my prime example, I argue that these newer advertisements promote male domination of both sex and decisions about contraception. Interlaced with my reading of KamaSutra?s advertisements are data from various public health surveys conducted in the 1990s. These surveys clearly show that Indian women often feel powerless when it comes to decisions about sex and contraception. Given the advertising and the data, I conclude that appealing to men?s sense of aggression and domination is an important part of KamaSutra?s marketing strategy?and one that we see in many other Indian contraception campaigns in the 1990s. In the final section of this paper, I discuss detrimental implications this advertising trend may have on women as citizens and on women?s health and social services.
Professors Durba Ghosh and Daniel Gold, advisors.
India; Contraception; Advertising; Gender
dissertation or thesis