Distribution of characters: 56% white males, 27% white fe- males, 6% black males, 5% black females, 5% nonblack minority males; 1% nonblack minority females. Flirtatious behaviors (physical suggestiveness) quadrupled in frequency from 1975; sexual innuendos increased more than five fold from the earlier analysis; sexual intercourse was never contextually implied in the 1975 program sample, and in 1977 such cues appeared fifteen times during the study week (of course, intercourse was never shown on TV) Females in programs were more likely than the males to act seductively; while the males were more likely than the fe- males to be aggressive. Table 1 continues on next page. heroines are portrayed as leading exciting and rewarding professional lives, they appear to endure austere private lives, lacking in physical or verbal expressions of tender- ness (Franzblau et al. 1977). Because television programs tend to portray men and women as opposites and because women are most fre- quently cast as affectionate, romantic, and vulnerable, it is difficult for males to demonstrate these aspects of their humanity, especiilly in television drama. Men are less likely than women to kiss, hug, or affectionately touch another television characterman, woman, or child. For a male to ask for. help, cry in frustration , or unabashedly hug a friend, spouse, or even a child, he must be cast in a comedy role. One study (Franzblau et al. 1977) re- vealed that displays of affection, such as kissing, hugging 219 or embracing, appear more often in situation comedies than crime-adventure or dramatic shows. The image of intimate and affectionate relationships portrayed on television is indeed limited. Women, pri- marily concerned with attracting men, are often cast in competition with other women, making close, affection- ate and warm relationships between them unlikely. Men, cast as all-knowing, competitive, and aggressive, seldom share their need for affection or their intimate feelings with anyone. Affectionate interchanges, generally limited to situation comedies, are deemed irrelevant and in- appropriate to the "real world"the man's world of action ahd drama (Franzblzu 1979). And even indirect verbal statements about intimacy are rarely heard on these programs.
Table 1 Selected Content Analyses (cont.) Research Study Sample Major Variables Major Findings S. H. Sternglanz and L. A. Serbin. Sex Role Stereo- typing in Chil- dren's Television Programs. Developmental Psychology. . 1975, 10(5), pp. 710-715. 10 popular (accord- ing to Nielsen ra- tings).commer- cially produced , children's tele- vision programs from the 1971- 1972 television season. (A pro- gran( was in- cluded in the analysis if it regu- larly contained at least one male and one female character.) Marriage and Family ' Character's behav- ior, importance in the plot, and "goodness or badness." Categories of be- havior:.activity, achievement- construction, dominance, ag- gression, defer-.
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