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Gender, Effects of Violent Content on

  • By: Melinda A. Lemke
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Gender is the sociocultural construction of biologic sex and therefore includes cultural, behavioral, biological, and psychological characteristics. In the United States, gender roles are based on heteronormative understandings of acceptable and unacceptable social behavior. Heteronormativity refers to sociocultural bias rooted in patriarchal institutions that privilege the male–female binary, contribute to stereotyped and sexualized understandings of certain bodies, and discipline those who transgress this dichotomy. Institutionalized hegemony and dominant heterosexual discourses contribute to and perpetuate social discrimination and gender violence within broader U.S. society. This heterosexist understanding of gender is reflected in U.S. film, print media, social media, and television. Individual and group acts of aggression toward women, LGBTQi (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and intersexed) individuals, and other marginalized groups within the media in turn ...

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