Positive Female Role-Models Eliminate Negative Effects of Sexually Violent Media


Corresponding author: Christopher J. Ferguson; e-mail: CJFerguson1111@aol.com


Much debate has focused on the potential negative role of sexualized violent media on viewer attitudes toward women. One potential issue in previous literature is that depictions of sexuality and violence were confounded with subordinate depictions of female characters. The current study addressed this by randomly assigning young adults to watch either neutral media or sexually violent media with either subordinate or strong female characters. Women who watched sexually violent media were more anxious, and males who watched sexually violent media had more negative attitudes toward women, but only when female characters were subordinate. Sexual and violent content had no influence on viewer attitudes when strong female characters were present, suggesting these are not the crucial influence variables.