How Do Television Show Portray Homosexual Men And Women?

917 words - 4 pages

There are several ways in which gays and lesbians are portrayed on television, many if which, arguably, create problems both for the program maker and for the viewer. Homosexuality is still not fully accepted in today's society and traditional patriarchal portrayals of both men and women are still dominant, with few exceptions to such images. However, men are still seen to be powerful, successful and rational in thinking. It is still uncommon for a man to appear emotional and sensitive. As a result of this homosexuality is rarely seen on network television, and representations of sexuality have been severely restricted and largely confined to the cinema.The portrayal of homosexual characters on television is complex in the gayness is, essentially, invisible. Therefore, it is difficult to identify gay or lesbian characters. As a consequence of this, program has adopted signs of gayness in order to portray characters' sexualities as quickly as possible. Such signs include certain gestures, clothing and even codes of language adopted in order to visualize an individual's homosexuality. This categorization of homosexuals is in itself complex. All societies categories as it enable us to make sense of our environment.Gays and lesbians have been categories negatively, often being seen to be morally degenerate. This has led to negative stereotypical portrayals of both gays and lesbians which have become so well recognized that certain homosexual organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAAD), have challenged such views, arguing that although they may perform homosexual acts, gays and lesbians are, in every other respect, the same as heterosexual people.When homosexuals are portrayed on network television they are usually presented in a negative stereotypical way. They are rarely presented in a sympathetic manner, and even when this does occur plots tend to focus on heterosexual characters' acceptance of homosexuality. In may cases gay characters are completely defined by their "problem", and homosexuality is often constructed to appear wrong. As a result of such portrayals, homosexuality is widely viewed as a negative symbol of masculine identity. In case of this program, a female character was associated with the arts and this portrayal merely furthers the stereotypical view that only those involved in the world of art form friendships with homosexuals. Stereotyping provides instant recognition for the viewer, and in this respect it is an important tool for program makers who require viewers to draw upon commonly held impressions of certain groups of people within society in identifying various characters' lifestyles.Perhaps, an exception to this production of the stereotypical homosexual appeared in the soap opera Dynasty. The portrayal of gays and lesbians in soap operas is different to that of other television genres. There is not the need for the characters'...

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