Open Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
Communication, Media and Theatre Arts
Tsai-Shan Shen, Ph.D, Chair
Dennis Patrick, Ph.D.
Michael Tew, Ph.D.
Horror films portray female characters as sexual, helpless victims. When horror films attempt to portray female characters as the hero, this sends a message to audiences that women can be strong and independent. An experiment was conducted to test an audience's perceptions gender stereotypes of women in the horror film, Scream. Results indicate that stereotypes present in the horror film effected the participants' perception of women as competent heroes. Female participants were also more likely to perceive women as more competent than male participants. Then, from a qualitative standpoint, five individuals were interviewed about their perceptions of characters in their favorite films. These interviews helped give insight into why audiences continue to enjoy films even though mainstream films tend to overly exaggerate female stereotypes in most genres of film.ree
Krahn, Kayla Marie, "Reel women: gender stereotypes in film" (2015). Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. 636.