Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Information on tv: a Analysis that is quantitative across Seasons

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Information on tv: a Analysis that is quantitative across 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 associated with the sex of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Intimate content connected with nonheterosexuals ended up being present in about 15% of programs general; but, rates of incident within episodes were low. Of 14 genres, just films and variety/comedy shows had significant percentages of programs that included content that is nonheterosexual. Programs on commercial broadcast systems had been less inclined to have content that is nonheterosexual those on cable companies, particularly those on premium cable film companies. Implications associated with the lack that is continued of to sexual minorities are discussed both for heterosexual and nonheterosexual audiences.

Introduction

Sexual content of development on US tv has changed significantly considering that the medium was initially designed a lot more than 50 years ago. At its inception, tv hardly ever presented themes that are sexual and through the entire very early years of tv, subjects such as for instance maternity, contraception, along with other areas of figures’ sex had been considered too responsive to be portrayed or talked about in tv shows. One theme which has been particularly ignored could be the portrayal of intimate dilemmas regarding homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. Inspite of the lifting of some longstanding taboos over the past a few years, tv development happens to be called heterosexual” that is“compulsoryWolf & Kielwasser, 1991), and depictions associated with the intimate dilemmas connected with nonheterosexuals 1 may stay fairly unusual (Brown, 2002).

Minimal research that is quantitative been carried out to report homosexual problems and figures on tv. Presently, nearly all of just what is 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 intimate behavior and intimate talk related to nonheterosexuals over the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 tv seasons. The findings using this research offer empirical data concerning the prevalence of nonheterosexual intimate content across a broad variety of tv development, plus the regularity of these sexual content when it’s presented.

Before 1970, almost no homosexual figures could possibly be available on tv, and their general lack through the display proceeded until the 1990s (Wyatt, 2002). In the past few years, how many programs with leading or recurring homosexual figures has diverse from 16 when you look at the 1997-1998 period to 29 when you look at the 2000-2001 period (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, n.d.). Although these figures represent a growth weighed against the last, they’ve been nevertheless quite little compared to the number that is overall of showing up on tv programs broadcast each period.

In accordance with cognitive that is social (Bandura, 2001), one essential method by which television influences people is through supplying vicarious experiences by which to model thinking, attitudes, and behavior whenever real-life experiences are far more restricted. A closely associated concept is the fact that news by depicting intimate situations that individuals may possibly not be in a position to see somewhere else offer scripts for enacting different intimate habits (Gagnon & Simon, 1973) such as for example people sex by having a partner that is new. Reliance on tv programs for intimate scripts and television figures as models for behavior might be especially strong among youth, whom might not have much experience that is first-hand sex, yet are just starting to solidify their intimate identities and be enthusiastic about sexual relationships (Chapin, 2000). In fact, as much as 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 was criticized for perhaps maybe maybe not supplying good part models for adolescents for instance, abstinence among teens is seldom portrayed in an optimistic light xlovecam boobs (Committee on Communications, 1995) the possible lack of good role models on tv is much more extreme for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). Many lesbians and homosexual guys develop in a right community with few homosexual part models; therefore, they have been specially in danger of the portrayals of homosexual individuals within the media (Fejes & Petrich, 1993; Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Yet, intimate minorities tend to be ignored because of the main-stream media and addressed as though they just do not exist. This exclusion is posited to subscribe to maintaining minorities that are sexual and without power, a procedure which Gross relates to as “symbolic annihilation” (Gross, 1991; Gerbner & Gross, 1976). Portrayals of homosexual folks of all ages have now been unusual and sometimes 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 environment that is exclusively heterosexual with just 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 buddies and household that will utilize tv being a supply of data about homosexual problems (Paroski, 1987). The little amount of homosexual figures on tv, and also smaller number of adolescent homosexual figures, is proposed to donate to a sense of isolation among nonheterosexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

Even if homosexual figures are portrayed on tv, they are usually shown within an context that is asexualFejes & Petrich, 1993). Gross (1991) cites samples of homosexual figures who had been hardly ever, when, shown in intimate or intimate contexts such as Sidney in adore Sidney, Steven Carrington in Dynasty, and Marilyn McGrath in Heartbeat. More modern for example Matt Fielding in Melrose Put, whoever intimate orientation had been prominently showcased in promotions prior to the show’s premiere, after which seldom incorporated into storylines when it comes to very first a few periods (Wyatt, 2002). Until really recently, the 2 freely gay figures on NBC’s presently popular series that is prime-time and Grace Will and Jack had been hardly ever shown being actually affectionate along with other males; but, 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 faculties such as for instance gay 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 using the more flamboyant Jack, that is made enjoyable of if you are campy and “queeny.”

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