Sex Roles

, Volume 20, Issue 11–12, pp 655–673 | Cite as

Effects of gender roles and self perceptions on affective reactions to horror films

  • Norbert Mundorf
  • James Weaver
  • Dolf Zillmann
Article

Abstract

Responses to graphic horror films have been shown to be modified by a number of personality variables, and in particular, by gender-specific rules for social conduct. In earlier horror research it has been assumed that gender-specific responses are largely determined by biological gender. More recent research has focused on psychological patterns of gender identity that often transcend biological gender lines. This investigation sought clarification by examining the impact of individuals' self-perceived gender role and other personality characteristics on affective responses to horror. Subjects' perceptions of how same- and opposite-gender peers would respond to such materials were also assessed. Consistent with theoretical expectations, the findings revealed strong effects on the estimation of opposite-gender target's reactions as a function of both the rater's gender role characteristics and biological gender. Other personality factors were found to influence responses to horror only marginally, however. The results are discussed in terms of the gender role socialization model of affect.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Mundorf
    • 1
  • James Weaver
    • 2
  • Dolf Zillmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Speech CommunicationUniversity of Rhode IslandKingston
  2. 2.University of KentuckyUSA
  3. 3.University of AlabamaUSA

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