Has Media Portrayal of Homosexuality Shifted/Changed Attitudes About the Subject?

2477 WordsNov 10, 201010 Pages
Has Media Portrayal of Homosexuality Shifted/Changed Attitudes About the Subject? Introduction Attitudes about homosexuality have shifted greatly over the past 40 years, beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Mass media appears to have played a major role in more widespread acceptance of homosexuality, however negative perceptions still exist. In order to probe the level of acceptance among college students and what shapes their perceptions of homosexuality, a study was conducted by surveying male and female students at Morehouse and Spelman colleges. The purpose of this study is to statistically determine if attitudes toward homosexuality have changed or shifted due to the media’s consistent portrayal of it…show more content…
This shift was huge during this time because while most people were growing up with or surrounded by heterosexuality, an acceptance of homosexuality was beginning to take hold. Programs such as Love Sidney, Dynasty, Heartbeat, Melrose Place, and Will and Grace portrayed homosexuality through leading and supporting characters and helped to shift the paradigm of attitudes toward gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (Fisher, 2007). The positive media portrayal of homosexuality has been shown to influence the beliefs and attitudes of heterosexuals because often, “the world, as seen in the media, is perceived by its viewers as an accurate reflection of reality” (Fisher, 2007). Since so many viewers at that time had little or no personal experience with homosexuals or homosexuality, these sources of media served as a major influence on the assumptions and attitudes that people expressed toward the subject (Fisher, 2007). Since Ellen became the first television show to have a gay leading character, other programs such as Spin City, ER, Dawson’s Creek, Queer as Folk, and Oz were/are all big hits and, equally, they all dealt with homosexuals/homosexuality (Fisher, 2007). In addition to consistent media depiction, movie stars, A-list celebrities, music artists, and even Hollywood’s “it-girls” have also helped to shape the mode of comfort with homosexuality through their real-life experiences. Lindsay Lohan (bi-sexual), Angelina Jolie (bi-sexual), Elton

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