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

Two yearly content analyses of development through the 2001 2002 and 2002 2003 television periods (letter = 1,276 and 1,439 programs, correspondingly) had been carried out to evaluate the clear presence of actions and spoken communications pertaining 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 event within episodes had been low. Of 14 genres, just films and variety/comedy shows had significant percentages of programs that contained content that is nonheterosexual. Programs on commercial broadcast systems had been less likely to want to have content that is nonheterosexual those on cable systems, particularly those on premium cable film systems. Implications of this continued absence of attention to intimate minorities are talked about both for heterosexual and nonheterosexual watchers.


Intimate content of development on American tv changed significantly because the medium was initially devised significantly more than 50 years ago. At its inception, tv rarely presented intimate themes, and through the entire early years of tv, subjects such as for example pregnancy, contraception, as well as other components of figures’ sex had been considered too responsive to be portrayed or talked about in tv shows. One theme which has been particularly ignored may be the depiction of intimate dilemmas associated with homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual people. Inspite of the lifting of some longstanding taboos during the last a few decades, tv development happens to be called heterosexual” that is“compulsoryWolf & Kielwasser, 1991), and depictions regarding the intimate problems related to nonheterosexuals 1 may stay fairly uncommon (Brown, 2002).

Minimal research that is quantitative been carried out to report homosexual problems and figures on tv. Presently, the majority of just just just what happens to be posted about tv and its own portrayals of sexual minority themes and figures originates from qualitative writings. The goal of this paper would be to provide quantitative information on intimate behavior and intimate talk associated to nonheterosexuals throughout the 2001 2002 and 2002 2003 tv periods. The findings with this research offer empirical data concerning the prevalence of nonheterosexual intimate content across a broad array of television programming, along with the frequency of these intimate content when it’s presented.

Before 1970, very little gay 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 rise in contrast to yesteryear, they’ve been nevertheless quite tiny compared to the overall amount of figures showing up on tv programs broadcast each period.

Relating to social cognitive concept (Bandura, 2001), one essential method by which tv influences audiences is through supplying vicarious experiences on which to model philosophy, attitudes, and behavior whenever true to life experiences are far more restricted. A closely associated concept is the fact that the news by depicting intimate situations that folks may not be in a position to see any place else provide scripts for enacting different intimate actions (Gagnon & Simon, 1973) such as for instance individuals making love having a new partner. Reliance on tv shows for intimate scripts and tv figures as models for behavior can be especially strong among youth, whom might not have much hand that is first with sex, yet are needs to solidify their intimate identities and be thinking about intimate relationships (Chapin, 2000). In fact, as much as one out of 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 an optimistic light (Committee on Communications, 1995) the possible lack of positive part models on tv is much more extreme for homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

Many lesbians and homosexual guys mature in a right community with few homosexual part models; therefore, these are typically especially susceptible to the portrayals of gay individuals into the advertising (Fejes & Petrich, 1993; Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Yet, sexual minorities tend to be ignored because of the conventional media and addressed as though they cannot exist. This exclusion happens to be posited to subscribe to maintaining minorities that are sexual and without energy, a procedure which Gross describes as “symbolic annihilation” (Gross, 1991; Gerbner & Gross, 1976). Portrayals of homosexual folks of all ages were 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 asian cam free exclusively heterosexual environment, with just occasional brief appearances by adolescent figures that are confused about their sex (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). This is really important because homosexual adolescents frequently cannot get information highly relevant to their orientation that is sexual from and household and will utilize tv as being a supply of data about homosexual problems (Paroski, 1987). The little amount of homosexual figures on tv, as well as smaller number of adolescent homosexual figures, is proposed to play a role in a sense of isolation among nonheterosexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

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