Finally, the proof I’ve been waiting for.
Interesting study. The researchers chose sexually violent material from shows with either subordinate women characters, or strong female characters (this is an interesting subject in itself. What makes someone “strong”? Do you have to be able to kick vampire ass?) And they compared both genres with some shows without sexually violent content, by asking their research subjects to view the shows and then comparing reactions across groups.
The sexually violent shows with subordinate women characters were The Tudors and Masters of Horror. The sexually violent shows with strong women characters were SVU and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The control shows without sexually violent content were 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls.
The findings, in the words of the researchers:
Women who watched sexually violent media were more anxious, and males who watched sexually violent media had more negative attitudes toward women, but only when female characters were subordinate. Sexual and violent content had no influence on viewer attitudes when strong female characters were present, suggesting these are not the crucial influence variables.
Women were actually less anxious watching SVU or Buffy than the control group shows. The inverse was true for men, who reported least anxiety watching the Tudors or Masters of Horror.
Now, where is my Season 1?