Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Psychology

Project Advisor 1

Kristin Lane

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The present study aims to better understand the relationship between gender role representation and characterization of sexual consent in erotic romance novels. To test this, two coders read the current best-selling heterosexual and lesbian romance novels listed on Barnes & Noble’s website and coded for both adherence to the Western Sexual Script and clarity of sexual consent. Western Sexual Script is the pervasive set of typical gender roles perpetuated in contemporary media. Statistical analyses found that there was a main effect of character’s gender identity on “gender typical traits” for wealth, sexual experience, dominance, and passivity, meaning that masculine characters received higher ratings of wealth, sexual experience, and dominance, and feminine characters received higher ratings of passivity. Higher ratings of clear sexual consent were found in lesbian versus heterosexual novels. Limitations and direction for future studies are discussed.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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