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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

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Two yearly content analyses of development through the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 tv periods had been carried out to evaluate the existence of habits and spoken communications linked to the sex of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Intimate content connected with nonheterosexuals ended up being present in about 15% of programs general; but, prices of incident within episodes had been 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 sites had been less likely to want to have nonheterosexual content than those on cable systems, specially those on premium cable movie systems. Implications of this lack that is continued of to sexual minorities are talked about both for heterosexual and nonheterosexual people.


Intimate content of development on US tv changed significantly because the medium was initially created a lot more than 50 years back. At its inception, tv seldom presented themes that are sexual and through the entire very early years of tv, subjects such as for instance pregnancy, contraception, along with other areas of figures’ sexuality had been considered too responsive to be portrayed or talked about in tv shows. One theme that’s been specially ignored could be the depiction of intimate dilemmas linked to homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual people. Regardless of the lifting of some longstanding taboos throughout the last several years, tv development has been called “compulsory heterosexual” (Wolf & Kielwasser, 1991), and depictions regarding the sexual dilemmas connected with nonheterosexuals 1 may stay fairly uncommon (Brown, 2002).

Minimal research that is quantitative been conducted to report homosexual issues and figures on television. Presently, nearly all of just exactly what happens to be posted about tv and its particular portrayals of intimate minority themes and figures originates from qualitative writings. The objective of this paper is always to provide quantitative information on intimate behavior and talk that is sexual to nonheterosexuals throughout the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 tv seasons. The findings using this research offer empirical data concerning 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 available on tv, and their absence that is relative from display 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 yesteryear, these are generally nevertheless quite little in contrast to the general quantity of figures showing up on tv programs broadcast each period.

Based on social cognitive concept (Bandura, 2001), one crucial method by which tv influences watchers is through supplying vicarious experiences on which to model philosophy, attitudes, and behavior whenever real-life experiences tend to be more restricted. A closely associated concept is the fact that the media by depicting intimate situations that individuals is probably not in a position to see any place else offer scripts for enacting different intimate habits (Gagnon & Simon, 1973) such as for instance individuals making love with a new partner. Reliance on tv programs for sexual scripts and tv figures as models for behavior might be especially strong among youth, whom might not have much experience that is first-hand sex, yet are beginning to solidify their intimate identities and turn enthusiastic about intimate relationships (Chapin, 2000). In fact, as much as one in five teenagers reports that “entertainment” is the many crucial supply of intimate information (Gibbs, 1993 as cited in Brown & Steele, 1995).

Although tv happens to be criticized for maybe not supplying role that is good for adolescents as an example, abstinence among teenagers is seldom portrayed in a confident light (Committee on Communications, 1995) having less good part models on tv is much more extreme for homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). Many lesbians and gay males mature in a community that is straight few homosexual part models; hence, they’ve been specially susceptible to 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 don’t occur. This exclusion is posited to play a role in maintaining minorities that are sexual and without energy, an activity which Gross relates to as “symbolic annihilation” (Gross, 1991; Gerbner & Gross, 1976). Portrayals of homosexual folks of all ages have already been unusual 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 characters who will be confused about their sex (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). This is really important because homosexual adolescents frequently cannot get information highly relevant to their sexual orientation from buddies and family members and might utilize tv being a supply of data about homosexual dilemmas (Paroski, 1987). The tiny amount of homosexual figures on tv, and also smaller number of adolescent homosexual figures, is proposed to play a role in a sense of isolation among nonheterosexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

Even if homosexual figures are portrayed on live xlovecam tv, they usually are shown within an asexual context (Fejes & Petrich, 1993). Gross (1991) cites samples of homosexual figures who have been seldom, when, shown in intimate or intimate contexts such as Sidney in enjoy Sidney, Steven Carrington in Dynasty, and Marilyn McGrath in Heartbeat. More modern for example Matt Fielding in Melrose spot, whoever intimate orientation had been prominently showcased in promotions ahead of the show’s premiere, after which seldom a part of storylines when it comes to very very first a few seasons (Wyatt, 2002). Until really recently, the 2 freely homosexual characters on NBC’s presently popular prime-time series Will and Grace Will and Jack had been seldom shown being actually affectionate along with other males; but, the lead female character Grace, who’s heterosexual, has usually been proven in intimate circumstances with guys. Will and Grace has also been criticized for reinforcing heterosexual norms and stereotypes about homosexual faculties such as for example homosexual guys 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 because of the more flamboyant Jack, that is made enjoyable of if you are campy and “queeny.”