Attraction, Gender Roles, and Homosexuality: an Analysis of Brokeback Mountain

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Attraction, Gender Roles, and Homosexuality:
An Analysis of Brokeback Mountain

Professor Frattaroli
P118D: Winter 2011

Introduction In this paper, I will identify examples from the film Brokeback Mountain that exemplify concepts of human sexuality – specifically, attraction; gender roles and socialization; and sexual orientation – in attempts to discuss the accurate portrayal of the concept within the scene, in concordance with known research findings regarding the aforementioned topics. In Brokeback Mountain, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are two young men living a pastoral life as cowboys/ranch hands; they meet each other for the first time in 1963 in
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According to the mere-exposure effect (Saegert et al., 1973; cited in Hyde & Delamater, 2008), Jack and Ennis’s repeated exposure to one another “[lead] to greater liking for [each other]” (Bornstein, 1989; cited in Hyde & Delamater, 2008, p. 283). This consistently repeated exposure led to Jack and Ennis being able to build rapport amongst themselves, and help them realize that they are alike in many respects. Homophily, the inclination to be surrounded by and to have contact with people who are similar to ourselves in social status (Hyde & Delamater, 2008), also lends itself well to Jack and Ennis’s relationship, in that, we tend to like people who are similar to ourselves, because they help to positively reaffirm our self-image (Hudson and Levinger, 1978; cited in Hyde & Delamater, 2008). Although Jack and Ennis would consistently butt heads about how to do things, they eventually grew to like each other – albeit, platonically at first – because they felt as if they grew to know and understand one another.
Gender Roles and Socialization Socialization, a method in which a society expresses accepted norms and expectations of an individual (Hyde & Delamater, 2008), is very important in that, it provides an avenue for individuals come to know about gender roles and stereotypes. Via socialization, both Jack and Ennis learned of their expected gender roles, or “a set of… culturally defined

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