Volkswagen's 'sexist' 1964 ad: the data

David Paulin
In 1964, "sexism" had yet to enter America's popular lexicon -- and nor its list of taboo behaviors. So there was no national uproar when Volkswagen started running ads, which would now be considered politically incorrect and sexist, in newspapers and magazines. The Germany automaker's target audience: America's budget-conscious husbands who fretted about their wives' lousy driving skills. "Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things," declared the ad picturing a Volkswagen Beetle with a crunched fender and missing headlight. "If your wife hits something in a Volkswagen, it doesn't hurt you that much. VW parts are easy to replace. And cheap." As it turns out, the ad may not have been completely sexist after all. Women are more prone than men to having certain types of finder benders that Volkswagen apparently had in mind -- at least according to a study just released by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration titled: "Pedal Application...(Read Full Post)

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