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

Two yearly content analyses of development through the 2001 2002 and 2002 2003 tv periods (letter = 1,276 and 1,439 programs, correspondingly) had been carried out to evaluate the existence of habits and verbal communications regarding the sex of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Intimate content related to nonheterosexuals ended up being present in about 15% of programs general; nonetheless, prices of event within episodes had been low. Of 14 genres, just films and variety/comedy shows had significant percentages of programs that included nonheterosexual content. Programs on commercial broadcast sites were less likely to want to have content that is nonheterosexual those on cable companies, particularly those on premium cable film companies. Implications associated with lack that is continued of to intimate minorities are talked about for both heterosexual and nonheterosexual watchers.


Intimate content of development on American tv changed significantly considering that the medium was initially designed significantly more than 50 years back. At its inception, tv hardly ever presented intimate themes, and for the very very early years of television, topics such as for example maternity, contraception, as well as other components of figures’ sexuality had been considered too responsive to be portrayed or talked about in tv shows. One theme that is particularly 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 during the last a few decades, television development is called “compulsory heterosexual” (Wolf & Kielwasser, 1991), and depictions associated with intimate problems related to nonheterosexuals 1 may stay reasonably unusual (Brown, 2002).

Minimal research that is quantitative been carried out to report gay dilemmas and figures on tv. Presently, nearly all of exactly just what has been posted about television and its own 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 intimate talk associated to nonheterosexuals over the 2001 2002 and 2002 2003 tv periods. The findings out of this study offer empirical data in regards to the prevalence of nonheterosexual intimate content across a broad number of tv development, along with the regularity of these sexual content when it’s presented.

Before 1970, almost no homosexual figures might be available on tv, and their absence that is relative from display proceeded before the 1990s (Wyatt, 2002). In the past few years, the sheer number of programs with leading or recurring gay figures has diverse from 16 within the 1997 1998 period to 29 within the 2000 2001 period (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, n.d.). Although these figures represent a growth weighed against days gone by, they have been still quite little weighed against the general quantity of figures showing up on tv programs broadcast each period.

In accordance with social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2001), one essential manner in which television influences watchers is through supplying vicarious experiences on which to model philosophy, attitudes, and behavior whenever real world experiences are far more restricted. A closely associated concept is the fact that news by depicting intimate situations that individuals may not be in a position to see any place else offer scripts for enacting different intimate actions (Gagnon & Simon, 1973) such as for example individuals making love with a new partner. Reliance on tv programs for intimate scripts and tv figures as models for behavior can be specially strong among youth, who might not have much hand that is first with sex, yet are beginning to solidify their intimate identities and turn 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 not providing good part models for adolescents as an example, abstinence among teenagers is seldom portrayed in an optimistic light (Committee on Communications, 1995) the lack of good part models on tv is much more extreme for homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992).

Most lesbians and homosexual males develop in a community that is straight few homosexual part models; hence, they’ve been especially susceptible to the portrayals of homosexual individuals into the advertising (Fejes & Petrich, 1993; Ryan & Futterman, 1998). Yet, intimate minorities in many cases are ignored by the conventional media and addressed as though they cannot occur. This exclusion happens to be posited to play a role in maintaining intimate minorities hidden and without energy, an ongoing process which Gross relates to as “symbolic annihilation” (Gross, 1991; Gerbner & Gross, 1976). Portrayals of homosexual individuals 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). Shows for adolescent audiences often portray an environment that is exclusively heterosexual with just occasional brief appearances by adolescent figures who will be confused about their sexuality (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992). This is really important because homosexual adolescents usually cannot get information highly relevant to their orientation that is sexual from and household and could make use of tv being a supply of data about gay problems (Paroski, 1987). The tiny wide range 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).