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Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Information on tv: A Quantitative Analysis Across Two Seasons

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Information on tv: A Quantitative Analysis Across Two Seasons

Abstract

Two content that is annual of development through the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 tv periods had been carried out to evaluate the current presence of habits and spoken communications linked to the sex of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Sexual content connected with nonheterosexuals ended up being found in about 15% of programs general; nonetheless, rates of incident within episodes had been low. Of 14 genres, just films and variety/comedy shows had significant percentages of programs that contained nonheterosexual content. Programs on commercial broadcast companies were less likely to want to have nonheterosexual content than those on cable sites, specially those on premium cable film companies. Implications associated with lack that is continued of to intimate minorities are talked about both for heterosexual and nonheterosexual audiences.

Introduction

Sexual content of development on US tv changed considerably because the medium was initially created significantly more than 50 years back. At its inception, tv seldom presented intimate themes, and through the very very very early years of tv, subjects such as for example maternity, contraception, along with other facets of figures’ sexuality had been considered too responsive to be portrayed or discussed in tv shows. One theme that is specially ignored may be the depiction of intimate dilemmas linked to homosexual, lesbian, and individuals that are bisexual. Inspite of the lifting of some longstanding taboos throughout the last a few decades, tv development is called heterosexual” that is“compulsoryWolf & Kielwasser, 1991), http://camsloveaholics.com/xlovecam-review/ and depictions of this sexual dilemmas related to nonheterosexuals 1 may stay reasonably uncommon (Brown, 2002).

Little quantitative research has been carried out to report homosexual dilemmas and figures on tv. Presently, the majority of just exactly just what happens to be posted about tv and its own portrayals of intimate minority themes and figures arises from qualitative writings. The objective of this paper would be to provide quantitative information on sexual behavior and intimate talk related to nonheterosexuals throughout the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 tv periods. The findings with this research offer empirical data in regards to the prevalence of nonheterosexual content that is sexual a broad selection of tv development, plus the regularity of these intimate content if it is presented.

Before 1970, very little homosexual figures could possibly be entirely on tv, and their absence that is relative from display screen proceeded before the 1990s (Wyatt, 2002). The number of shows with leading or recurring gay characters has varied from 16 in the 1997-1998 season to 29 in the 2000-2001 season (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, n.d.) in recent years. Although these figures represent a growth weighed against days gone by, these are generally nevertheless quite little weighed against the number that is overall of showing up on tv programs broadcast each period.

Based on social cognitive concept (Bandura, 2001), one essential manner in which tv influences audiences is through supplying vicarious experiences on which to model thinking, attitudes, and behavior whenever real-life experiences tend to be more restricted. A closely associated concept is the fact that the news by depicting intimate situations that individuals may not be able to see any place else offer scripts for enacting various intimate actions (Gagnon & Simon, 1973) such as for instance individuals making love having a partner that is new. Reliance on tv programs for intimate scripts and tv figures as models for behavior could be specially strong among youth, whom might not have much experience that is first-hand sex, yet are just starting to solidify their intimate identities and start to become enthusiastic about intimate relationships (Chapin, 2000). In fact, up to one out of five teenagers reports that “entertainment” is the many source that is important of information (Gibbs, 1993 as cited in Brown & Steele, 1995).

Although tv is criticized for perhaps not supplying good part models for adolescents as an example, abstinence among teenagers is hardly ever portrayed in a confident light (Committee on Communications, 1995) the possible lack of good part models on tv is more extreme for homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). Many lesbians and homosexual guys mature in a community that is straight few homosexual part models; therefore, they truly are specially susceptible to the portrayals of homosexual people within the advertising (Fejes & Petrich, 1993; Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Yet, intimate minorities tend to be ignored because of the main-stream media and addressed as though they don’t occur. This exclusion happens to be posited to play a role in maintaining minorities that are sexual and without power, an ongoing process which Gross describes as “symbolic annihilation” (Gross, 1991; Gerbner & Gross, 1976). Portrayals of homosexual folks of all ages have already been uncommon and frequently negative (Gross, 1991, 1996; Moritz, 1994), and portrayals of young nonheterosexuals are also less frequent (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). Programs for adolescent audiences often portray an exclusively heterosexual environment, with only occasional brief appearances by adolescent figures that are confused about their sex (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). This is really important because homosexual adolescents usually cannot get information highly relevant to their intimate orientation from friends and family members that will make use of tv being a supply of data about homosexual problems (Paroski, 1987). The tiny quantity of homosexual figures on tv, as well as smaller number of adolescent homosexual figures, is proposed to donate to a sense of isolation among nonheterosexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

Even though gay figures are portrayed on television, they are usually shown within an context that is asexualFejes & Petrich, 1993). Gross (1991) cites samples of homosexual figures who have been hardly ever, when, shown in intimate or contexts that are romantic as Sidney in prefer Sidney, Steven Carrington in Dynasty, and Marilyn McGrath in Heartbeat. More modern these include Matt Fielding in Melrose destination, whoever intimate orientation had been prominently showcased in promotions ahead of the show’s premiere, after which seldom incorporated into storylines when it comes to very first a few periods (Wyatt, 2002). Until extremely recently, the 2 freely homosexual figures on NBC’s presently popular series that is prime-time and Grace Will and Jack had been hardly ever shown being physically affectionate along with other males; however, the lead female character Grace, that is heterosexual, has frequently demonstrated an ability in intimate circumstances with guys. Will and Grace even offers been criticized for reinforcing norms that are heterosexual stereotypes about homosexual characteristics such as for example homosexual males being feminine, flamboyant, and promiscuous (Battles & Morrow-Hilton, 2002). Battles and Morrow-Hilton argue that the safer, more assimilated asexual character of Will is frequently contrasted aided by the more flamboyant Jack, that is made enjoyable of to be campy and “queeny.”

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