Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender 2005 Abstracts

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Interest Group

Gendered Relationships on Television: Comparing Portrayals of Heterosexual and Same-Sex Couples • Adrienne Marie Holz, Rhonda Gibson and James D. Ivory, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • While intimate heterosexual couples exhibit power imbalances through gender role behaviors, it is unclear whether the same is true for homosexual relationships. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that both heterosexual and homosexual relationships on television are portrayed as gendered. This content analysis of intimate relationships on television found disparities in dominant and submissive behaviors to be as prevalent among homosexual couples as heterosexual couples. Implications for viewers’ perceptions and behavior are also discussed.

Sides of Conflict: A Framing Analysis of Same-Sex Marriage in the Gainesville Sun • Rebecca McGovney and Traci Irani, University of Florida • This study analyzed the framing of same-sex marriages or unions within the Gainesville Sun, a southern, university town, New York Times affiliate newspaper. Findings included a single frame of “conflict” and six subframes-”confusion,” “breaking the law,” “equal rights/marriage benefits,” “definition of marriage,” “political tool,” and “court vs. state.” The use of negative subframes and quotation sources in the 22 articles has framed same-sex marriage as a threat.

Framing Gay Marriage: The Human Rights Campaign’s Online Campaign for Marriage Equality • Joseph Schwartz, Syracuse University • Following the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that found efforts to ban gay marriage unconstitutional, gay marriage has been a controversial issue, capturing the attention of the media and politicians. This study examines the frames used by the Human Rights Campaign in their efforts to mobilize their members in preparation for the November, 2004 election. A qualitative, inductive approach was employed, involving textual analysis of the group’s membership materials, news releases, action alerts and publications.

Matthew Shepard — Giving a Human Face to Anti-Gay Violence • Rodger Streitmatter, American University • This paper examines and analyzes the news coverage of the 1998 beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard. This study argues that the coverage communicated four messages to the media-consuming public. Despite the progress that had been made by the final years of the 20th century, a significant number of Americans continued to hate gay people. Stories that were published or that appeared on television news programs showed that the country’s leading journalistic voices expressed unrestrained outrage at how the young man had been brutalized.

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