Rape Myth Acceptance and Contemporary Media




Grosenbacher, Greta

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Media has both a reinforcing and formative effect on society and overall culture. Thus, the way certain demographics are viewed and treated by society is partly influenced by media. Women represent a demographic that has been negatively impacted by their depiction in media. Most notably, rape culture, which typically targets women, can be perpetuated and formed by the way women are represented in media. This thesis argues that rape culture is chronically enhanced and engendered through three main pathways in media: objectification and sexualization, gender role schemas, and sexual scripts. To substantiate this argument, this thesis presents a literature review of media effects research focusing on the effects these pathways have on rape myth acceptance amongst audiences in addition to an analysis of modern media samples. In the analysis section, the television shows K.C. Undercover, Grown-ish, and Modern Family are all analyzed. This thesis concludes by drawing attention to the prevalence of implicit rape mythology in the shows analyzed and presumably other television shows and acknowledges the overall reinforcing and formative impact this prevalence has on audiences.



Thesis-Rape Myth Acceptance and Contemporary Media