Sex Roles

, Volume 62, Issue 11–12, pp 762–773 | Cite as

On the Perils of Living Dangerously in the Slasher Horror Film: Gender Differences in the Association Between Sexual Activity and Survival

  • Andrew Welsh
Original Article


The slasher horror film has been deplored based on claims that it depicts eroticized violence against predominately female characters as punishment for sexual activities. To test this assertion, a quantitative content analysis was conducted to examine the extent to which gender differences are evident in the association between character survival and engagement in sexual activities. Information pertaining to gender, engagement in sexual activities, and survival was coded for film characters from a simple random sample of 50 English-language, North American slasher films released between 1960 and 2009. Results indicated that sexual female characters were less likely to survive and had significantly longer death scenes as compared to those female characters who did not engage in sexual behaviors.


Gender Violence against women Slasher horror films Media portrayals of victims Content analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Contemporary StudiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityBrantfordCanada

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