MEDIA

JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1991, VOL 21(1/2) INCLUDES:

INTRODUCTION: THE BODY ELECTRIC - HUMAN SEXUALITY AND MASS MEDIA, MICHELLE A. WOLF, P7-18.

OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM: SEXUAL MINORITIES AND THE MASS MEDIA, LARRY GROSS, P19-47.

In a society dominated by centralized sources of information and imagery, in which economic imperatives and pervasive soures of values promote the search for large, common-denominator audiences, it is useful to look at the fate of those who, for one reason or another, find themselves outside of the mainstream. This paper addresses the general questions of minority perspectives in the context of the study of mass media content and effects. More specific attention is paid to the situation of lesbian women and gay men as members of the mass media audience.

TELEVISION VIEWING AND ADOLESCENTS' SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, JANE D. BROWN, SUSAN F. NEWCOMER, P77-91.

Over the past two decades the sexual content on television has increased in frequency and explicitness but has seldom included depiction of the use of contraceptives. Concurrently, the age of initiation of heterosexual intercourse has decreased and the number of teenage pregnancies has remained high. Are these trends related? This survey of 391 adolescents found that those who chose heavier diets of sexy television shows were more likely than those who viewed a smaller proportion of sexual content on television to have had sexual intercourse. This relationship held regardless of perceived peer encouragement to engage in sex and across race and gender groups. While causal direction is not clear from these data, the relationship suggests that either sexual activity results in increased interest in sexual content in the media and/or that viewing such content leads to sexual activity. In either case, the finding points to the need for further research and increased discussion and portrayal of the use of contraceptives on television.

TELEVISION VIEWING AND EARLY INITIATION OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE: IS THERE A LINK? JAMES L. PETERSON, KRISTIN A. MOORE, FRANK F. FURSTENBERG, P93-118.

Using data from the National Survey of Children, this paper examines the hypothesis that the amount of time children spend viewing television and the extent to which the content viewed is sexual in nature is related to the initiation of sexual activity. Several theories that would lead to this hypothesis are reviewed. The data do not provide any strong or consistent evidence for such links. However, some aspects of the context in which television is viewed are related to sexual activity. The authors suggest ways in which the design and measures could be strengthened to provide a more rigorous test of the hypothesis.

SEX AND GENRE ON PRIME TIME, CORLESS SMITH, P119-138.

Sexual activity is never explicity represented on network television programs. Rather, realms of sexuality are suggested. These realms are represented differently according to the genre of the program; sitcoms explore the realm of the taboo, while night-time soaps plumb the inevitable consequences of sexual activity. Detective shows display the sexual underworld. When a program shows sexuality from more than a generic perspective, it provides a more global representation and is also a more fruitful object of study.

THE GAY VOICE IN POPULAR MUSIC: A SOCIAL VALUE MODEL ANALYSIS OF "DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY," R. BRIAN ATTIG, P185-201.

The gay voice in popular music and its potential to create positive social change regarding societal values about homosexuality is the focus of the present study. The historical development of the gay voice in popular music is reviewed as an introduction to a critical analysis of the Communards' music video "Don't Leave Me This Way." Using a modified version of the Social Value Model proposed by Rushing and Frentz, the video is analyzed on three levels: (a) narrative content, (b) use of symbols in the narraitve, and (c) lyrical content. It is suggested that this video effected a dialectical synthesis of mainstream and homosexual values because it achieved mainstream commercial success while realistically expressing a gay perspective.

LESBIAN AND GAY RIGHTS AS A FREE SPEECH ISSUE: A REVIEW OF RELEVANT CASELAW, PAUL SIEGEL, P203-259.

The legal struggles waged by lesbian and gay male litigants almost invariably involve issues of freedom of expression, broadly construed. To illustrate this point, a wide array of caselaw is examined - ranging from classic "access to a forum" controversies to those concerning symbolic conduct and freedom of association (including marriage and child custody law), employment discrimination, and proscriptions against deviant sexual conduct. In each category, claims to a right of freedom of expression are manifested.

Cautionary notes are offered concerning those cases in which gay litigants try to protect their rights by inhibiting the speech of others. A brief concluding section assesses the long-term and short-term efficacy of raising first Amendment arguments (as opposed to privacy or equal protection arguments) in lesbian/gay male litigation.

GAYS, LESBIANS AND THE MEDIA: A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY, FRED FEJES, P261-277.

The focus of this selected bibliography is on print, aural, and visual resources dealing with gay males, lesbians, and the mass media. Listings were selected on the basis of their perceived value to scholarly researchers and interested members of the more general public. Individual news stories, reviews of specific films or television programs, and coverage of gay males and lesbians in the theatre and arts are not included. While references to popular music were sought, only a few items were located and are included. There were two major obstacles confronted when compiling this bibliography. First, much of the media of the gay and lesbian communities in the United States is not indexed. Second, very few libraries subscribe to many of the more popular and important print resources (e.g. Advocate, Gay Community News) on the topics of focus. Even more inaccessible are regional publications and literature that focus on erotica but often include valuable items on the gay and lesbian communities as well.

INVISIBILITY, HOMOPHOBIA AND HETEROSEXISM: LESBIANS, GAYS AND THE MEDIA, F. FEJES & K. PETRICH, CRITICAL STUDIES IN MASS COMMUNICATION, 1993, VOL 10(4), P396-422.

BOOKS

ARE WE BEING SERVICED, LESBIANS, GAYS AND BROADCASTING, PROJECT REPORT, HALL CARPENTER MEMORIAL ARCHIVES, 1987.

© Jan Bridget/Lesbian Information Service