This two-part exploratory study utilized a social cognitive theory framework in documenting gender portrayals in teen movies and investigating the influence of exposure to these images on gender-based beliefs about friendships, social aggression, and roles of women in society. First, a content analysis of gender portrayals in teen movies was conducted, revealing that female characters are more likely to be portrayed as socially aggressive than male characters. Second, college students were surveyed about their teen movie-viewing habits, gender-related beliefs, and attitudes. Findings suggest that viewing teen movies is associated with negative stereotypes about female friendships and gender roles.
Research examining the …show more content…
According to Bandura's social cognitive theory, media messages serve as a meaningful source for the acquisition of "gender-linked knowledge and competencies" and the development of expectations of gender roles and conduct, self-evaluative standards, and self-efficacy beliefs.6 It is argued that individuals adopt gender characteristics in part by monitoring the rewards and consequences associated with others' behavior. Thus, representation of female characters in the media would be expected to play a role in viewers' perceptions regarding gender identity, which may ultimately influence attitudes and beliefs about appropriate gender roles.
The period of life referred to as emerging adulthood is a particularly unique phase of identity development/ during which time media messages may serve as one source of information used to make life choices. The increased independence and freedom emerging adults experience is thought to contribute to their heightened relational and work explorations." The lion's share of research on gender identity development, however, has focused on adolescents rather than emerging adults. Although the influence of teen movies on adolescent consumers is of import, the popularity of this film genre among emerging adults suggests that the impact of exposure on college students warrants consideration. Accordingly, the present study examines the influence of teen