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This study examined the viewing preferences of high school students, with a focus on high school age males. The purpose of the study was to explore the media's perpetuation of stereotypes, and how these representations influence the students' self-identity and perceptions of gender roles. Participants were 77 high school students in a medium-sized town in the Southwestern United States. A review of the literature was conducted, and a survey was administered during normal school hours, asking the students to identify their favorite television program and why, and their favorite character and why. Results showed striking differences between males and females in terms of viewing preferences. Females based their reasons for liking characters on intellectual or personal character traits rather than physical ones. The majority of males tended to prefer shows that had violent, sexual, or crude themes, and to enjoy characters based on stereotypic traits (tough, violent and rude males and attractive females). Implications are discussed. Contains 25 references. (AEF)

Descriptors: Audience Response, Females, High School Students, High Schools, Males, Mass Media Role, Programming (Broadcast), Role Perception, Sex Bias, Sex Stereotypes, Television Viewing

Autor: Horton, Julie; Arquette, Cecile


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