The Misrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Relationships in the Media

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Kim Carter-Cram


The notion of gender has historically served to prescribe an individual's role in heteroromantic relationships. This prescriptive approach to gender roles in the context of relationships has created a strong trend toward heteronormativity in society. Gender roles are enforced through a variety of avenues, with television as a significant form of influence. Television is a source for society’s idea of behavior in romantic relationships, and has broadened to include non-heteronormative relationships as well. Despite the increase of non-heteronormative diversity on TV, the prescribed binary gender roles of male and female are still maintained, albeit in same-sex couples. By continuing the stereotypical and dichotomous gender roles in non-heteronormative relationships on TV, the reality of a more complex relationship is ignored. Our project aims to understand the prevalence of the gender binary as displayed in same-sex couples on television by counting the displays to traditional gender expressions (e.g. crying, giggling, aggressive stance). Our findings will be presented to students with the intention to dialogue about the binary gender displays. We will use a clip from a television show to the group, along with a clip reflecting a more equitable scene of gender display.

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