University of Twente Student Theses


Viewer perceptions of and attitudes towards asexuality in response to entertainment media representation

White, C. I. (2020) Viewer perceptions of and attitudes towards asexuality in response to entertainment media representation.

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Abstract:With the popularity of LGBTQIA+ representation in media rising, it is important to understand the relation to viewers’ attitudes, especially for underrepresented sexual minorities such as asexuality. A mixed method approach was employed, with 108 participants split into two conditions completing the Attitudes Towards Asexuals (ATA) Scale before and after viewing a clip from entertainment media. Open questions were also asked: how the clip made them feel, their opinion of the character, and their definition of asexuality. Thematic content analysis, and an analysis of the tone and emotions in the open responses supplemented the quantitative data. The results indicate significant differences between the attitudes of LGBT compared to non-LGBT respondents, religious groups, and those with more compared to less familiarity with asexuality. The qualitative findings underline the importance of nuanced characters with whom diverse viewers can empathise. Overall, the insight from this research can inform and guide the development of asexual characters in entertainment media so that viewer’s attitudes towards asexuality are positive. Complementary to this, future research should seek to clarify which impact different variations of an asexual representation have on viewers’ attitudes, and whether the influence on a range of demographic groups is dependent on specific features.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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