GLOBAL: Five in ten women and four in ten men resent the way women are depicted in advertising, according to a global survey that posits a future where gender is regarded in much the same way as height or hair colour.

Havas Media surveyed 12,168 men and women across 32 countries for its report titled The Future Is FeMale which revealed that while only a minority of either sex regard themselves as feminists, the basic tenets of the women’s movement are now deeply ingrained in the public mindset.

Thus, strong majorities of those surveyed (84% of men and 91% of women) agreed that men and women who do the same job should be paid the same. (Only 5% of men and 3% of women disagreed.)

And both sexes were more likely to agree than disagree that the world would be a better place if more women were in positions of power. A majority (52% of men and 64% of women) said they would like to see more women hold executive positions.

Similarly, men are no longer automatically seen as the “head of household.” Less than a third of men surveyed (31%) and a quarter of women (24%) agreed that male-female relationships work better when the man is the dominant partner.

Women (48%) were, unsurprisingly, more likely than men (44%) to think that TV commercials show too many outdated gender stereotypes, and to take umbrage at the way women are often depicted (49% vs 38%).

But both sides were at the same point (31%) in resenting the way men are depicted in a lot of advertising.

Media coverage of gender issues veers towards the dramatic, but, said Marianne Hurstel, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Media, “We see a trend towards a future in which people will be judged by the content of their character rather than the makeup of their chromosomes. And that future may not be terribly far off.”

The study found a clear push toward raising children in a non-gendered way: 61% of women and 46% of men believe children should be raised in as gender neutral a way as possible so as to avoid rigid gender restrictions.

Men and women are very similar in many respects, Hurstel noted. “And the more we recognize these commonalities, the more likely we will be to think that our gender is just one aspect of who we are.”

Data sourced from Havas Media; additional content by WARC staff