Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 1154–1170 | Cite as

Coming Attractions: Parental Mediation Responses to Transgender and Cisgender Film Trailer Content Targeting Adolescents

  • Steven HolidayEmail author
  • Bradley J. Bond
  • Eric E. Rasmussen
Original Paper


Adolescents increasingly rely on media for socialization and identity development, and marketing plays a prominent role in this dynamic. Film trailers are one form of advertising that children actively seek out and attend to in their exploration of media. However, little attention has been paid to these advertisements’ gendered narratives and parents’ responses to them. The present study examines parents’ mediation responses to film trailers that promote themes of gender development and are aimed at adolescents. Respondents viewed a trailer that featured either a cisgender or transgender coming-of-age story and responded to cognitive, emotional, and attitudinal survey measures. Results identified both parent and child factors that influence parents’ mediation intentions and support for censorship. Practical implications in parenting, gender development, and marketing are further discussed.


Active parental mediation Support for censorship Film trailers Transgender Advertising 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. An, S., Jin, H. S., & Park, E. H. (2014). Children’s advertising literacy for advergames: Perception of the game as advertising. Journal of Advertising, 43(1), 63–72. Scholar
  2. Andsager, J. L., Wyatt, R. O., & Martin, E. (2004). Free expression in five democratic publics: Support for individual and media rights. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.Google Scholar
  3. Arnett, J. J. (1995). Adolescents’ uses of media for self-socialization. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 24(5), 519–533. Scholar
  4. Austin, E. W., Hust, S. J. T., & Kistler, M. E. (2009). Powerful media tools: Arming parents with strategies to affect children’s interactions with commercial interests. In T. J. Socha & G. H. Stamp (Eds.), Parents and children communicating with society: Managing relationships outside of home (pp. 215–240). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, J. M. (2002). How homophobia hurts children: Nurturing diversity at home, at school, and in the community. New York, NY: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  6. Baptista, M. M. R., & de Loureiro Himmel, R. I. P. (2016). ‘For Fun’:(De) Humanizing Gisberta—The violence of binary gender social representation. Sexuality and Culture, 20(3), 639–656. Scholar
  7. Berinsky, A. J., Huber, G. A., & Lenz, G. S. (2012). Evaluating online labor markets for experimental research:’s Mechanical Turk. Political Analysis, 20(3), 351–368. Scholar
  8. Bijmolt, T. H. A., Claassen, W., & Brus, B. (1998). Children’s understanding of TV advertising: Effects of age, gender and parental influence. Journal of Consumer Policy, 21(2), 171–194. Scholar
  9. Blades, M., Oates, C., Blumberg, F., & Gunter, B. (2014). Advertising to children: New directions, new media. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bond, B. J. (2016). LGBT: Media use and sexual identity. In L. Reinecke & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of media use and well-being: International perspectives on theory and research on positive media effects (pp. 422–433). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Bond, B. J., Hefner, V., & Drogos, K. L. (2009). Information-seeking practices during the sexual development of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: The influence and effects of coming out in a mediated environment. Sexuality and Culture, 13(1), 32–50. Scholar
  12. Boyd, D., & Hargittai, E. (2013). Connected and concerned: Variation in parents’ online safety concerns. Policy & Internet, 5(3), 245–269. Scholar
  13. Brucks, M., Armstrong, G. M., & Goldberg, M. E. (1988). Children’s use of cognitive defenses against television advertising: A cognitive response approach. Journal of Consumer Research, 14, 471–482. Scholar
  14. Buijzen, M. (2007). Reducing children’s susceptibility to commercials: Mechanisms of factual and evaluative advertising interventions. Media Psychology, 9(2), 411–430. Scholar
  15. Buijzen, M. (2009). The effectiveness of parental communication in modifying the relation between food advertising and children’s consumption behaviour. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27(1), 105–121. Scholar
  16. Buijzen, M., & Mens, C. (2007). Adult mediation of television advertising effects: A comparison of factual, evaluative, and combined strategies. Journal of Children and Media, 1(2), 177–191. Scholar
  17. Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2005). Parental mediation of undesired advertising effects. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 49(2), 153–165. Scholar
  18. Butler, M. (2010). Re-imagined bodies and transgendered space: Sites for negotiating gender in the Shrek movies. In M. Gymnich, K. Ruhl, & K. Scheunemann (Eds.), Gendered (re)visions: Constructions of gender in audiovisual media (pp. 59–77). Bonn: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.Google Scholar
  19. Capuzza, J. C., & Spencer, L. G. (2016). Regressing, progressing, or transgressing on the small screen? Transgender characters on U.S. scripted television series. Communication Quarterly. Scholar
  20. Casler, K., Bickel, L., & Hackett, E. (2013). Separate but equal? A comparison of participants and data gathered via Amazon’s MTurk, social media, and face-to-face behavioral testing. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2156–2160. Scholar
  21. CF Sheets. (2012). Marketing to children overview. Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Retrieved on November 29, 2017 from
  22. Clark, L. S. (2013). The parent app: Understanding families in the digital age. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Coyne, S. M., Linder, J. R., Rasmussen, E. E., Nelson, D. A., & Birkbeck, V. (2016). Pretty as a princess: Longitudinal effects of engagement with Disney princesses on gender stereotypes, body esteem, and prosocial behavior in children. Child Development, 87(6), 1909–1925. Scholar
  24. Davis, C. H., Michelle, C., Hardy, A., & Hight, C. (2013). Framing audience prefigurations of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The roles of fandom, politics and idealised intertexts. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 11(1), 50–87.Google Scholar
  25. del Mar Pàmies, M., Ryan, G., & Valverde, M. (2016). How intervention can empower children as consumers in dealing with advertising. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(5), 601–609. Scholar
  26. Dennis, J. P. (2009). The boy who would be queen: Hints and closets on children’s television. Journal of Homosexuality, 56(6), 738–756. Scholar
  27. Dixon, G. N., McKeever, B. W., Holton, A. E., Clarke, C., & Eosco, G. (2015). The power of a picture: Overcoming scientific misinformation by communicating weight-of-evidence information with visual exemplars. Journal of Communication, 65(4), 639–659. Scholar
  28. Erikson, E. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  29. Evans, V. D. (2007). Curved TV: The impact of televisual images on gay youth. American Communication Journal, 9(3), 7–17.Google Scholar
  30. Feldman, S. S., & Rosenthal, D. A. (2002). Talking sexuality: Parent–adolescent communication. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  31. Finsterwalder, J., Kuppelwieser, V. G., & de Villiers, M. (2012). The effects of film trailers on shaping consumer expectations in the entertainment industry—A qualitative analysis. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 19(6), 589–595. Scholar
  32. Flores, A. R., Brown, T. N. T., & Park, A. S. (2016). Public support for transgender rights: A 23 country survey. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute.Google Scholar
  33. Friestad, M., & Wright, P. (1995). Persuasion knowledge: Lay people’s and researchers’ beliefs about the psychology of advertising. Journal of Consumer Research, 22(1), 62–74. Scholar
  34. Fujioka, Y., & Austin, E. W. (2002). The relationship of family communication patterns to parental mediation styles. Communication Research, 29(6), 642–665. Scholar
  35. Germine, L., Nakayama, K., Duchaine, B. C., Chabris, C. F., Chatterjee, G., & Wilmer, J. B. (2012). Is the Web as good as the lab? Comparable performance from Web and lab in cognitive/perceptual experiments. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(5), 847–857. Scholar
  36. Granlund, N. T. (1957). Blondes, brunettes, and bullets. Philadelphia, PA: David McKay Company.Google Scholar
  37. Greene, F. L., Johnston, K. M., & Vollans, E. (2014). Would I lie to you? Researching audience attitudes to, and uses of, the promotional trailer format. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 10(1), 113–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Healton, C. G., Watson-Stryker, E. S., Allen, J. A., Vallone, D. M., Messeri, P. A., Graham, P. R., et al. (2006). Televised movie trailers: Undermining restrictions on advertising tobacco to youth. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 160(9), 885–888. Scholar
  39. Ho, S. S., Detenber, B. H., Malik, S., & Neo, R. L. J. (2012). The roles of value predispositions, communication and third person perception on public support for censorship of films with homosexual content. Asian Journal of Communication, 22(1), 78–97. Scholar
  40. Jacobson, L. (2004). Raising consumers. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Jensen, C. S. (2014). Reduced narration, intensified emotion: The film trailer. Projections, 8(1), 105–125. Scholar
  42. Kernan, L. (2004). Coming attractions. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  43. Klein, P. S., Nir-Gal, O., & Darom, E. (2000). The use of computers in kindergarten, with or without adult mediation: Effects on children’s cognitive performance and behaviour. Computers in Human Behavior, 16(6), 591–608. Scholar
  44. Kosenko, K. A., Bond, B. J., & Hurley, R. J. (2016). An exploration into the uses and gratifications of media for transgender individuals. Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Advanced online publication. Scholar
  45. Kronz, V. (2016). Women with beards and men in frocks: Gender nonconformity in modern American film. Sexuality and Culture, 20, 85–110. Scholar
  46. Lakoff, G. (2002). Moral politics: How liberals and conservatives think. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. LaMarre, H. (2013). When parody and reality collide: Examining the effects of Colbert’s super PAC satire on issue knowledge and policy engagement across media formats. International Journal of Communication, 7, 394–413.Google Scholar
  48. Lee, S. J. (2013). Parental restrictive mediation of children’s Internet use: Effective for what and for whom? New Media & Society, 15(4), 466–481. Scholar
  49. Lee, S. J., & Chae, Y. G. (2007). Children’s Internet use in a family context: Influence on family relationships and parental mediation. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 640–644. Scholar
  50. Limbach, G. (2013). You the man, well, sorta. In J. Cheu (Ed.), Diversity in Disney films: Critical essays on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability (pp. 115–129). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  51. McInroy, L. B., & Craig, S. L. (2015). Transgender representation in offline and online media: LGBTQ youth perspectives. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 25(6), 606–617. Scholar
  52. McLeod, D. M., Eveland, W. P., Jr., & Nathanson, A. I. (1997). Support for censorship of violent and misogynic rap lyrics: An analysis of third-person effect. Communication Research, 24(2), 153–174. Scholar
  53. Mendoza, K. (2009). Surveying parental mediation: Connections, challenges and questions for media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 1(1), 28–41.Google Scholar
  54. Merin, J. (2008). All about movie trailers. Retrieved from
  55. Miller, L., & Grollman, E. (2015). The social costs of gender non-conformity for transgender adults: Implications for discrimination and health. Sociological Forum, 30, 809–831. Scholar
  56. Morrison, E. G. (2010). Transgender as ingroup or outgroup? Lesbian, gay, and bisexual viewers respond to a transgender character in daytime television. Journal of Homosexuality, 57, 650–665. Scholar
  57. Nathanson, A. I. (2001). Mediation of children’s television viewing: Working toward conceptual clarity and common understanding. In W. B. Gudykunst (Ed.), Communication Yearbook, 25 (pp. 115–151). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  58. National Center for Transgender Equality. (2014). Transgender terminology. Retrieved from
  59. Norton, A. T., & Herek, G. M. (2013). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward transgender people: Findings from a national probability sample of U.S. adults. Sex Roles, 68(11), 738–853. Scholar
  60. Pew Research Center. (2014). 2014 political polarization in the American public. Retrieved from
  61. Radanielina-Hita, M. L. (2015). Parental mediation of media messages does matter: More interaction about objectionable content is associated with emerging adults’ sexual attitudes and behaviors. Health Communication, 30(8), 784–798. Scholar
  62. Rasmussen, E. (2013). Theoretical underpinnings of reducing the media’s negative effect on children: Person-centered, negatively-valenced evaluative mediation within a persuasion framework. Annals of the International Communication Association, 37(1), 379–406. Scholar
  63. Rasmussen, E. E., Ortiz, R. R., & White, S. R. (2015). Emerging adults’ responses to active mediation of pornography during adolescence. Journal of Children and Media, 9(2), 160–176. Scholar
  64. Rasmussen, E. E., White, S. R., King, A. J., Holiday, S., & Densley, R. L. (2016). Predicting parental mediation behaviors: The direct and indirect influence of parents’ critical thinking about media and attitudes about parent–child interactions. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 8(2), 1–21. Scholar
  65. Reed, O. M., Franks, A. S., & Scherr, K. C. (2015). Are perceptions of transgender individuals affected by mental illness stigma? A moderated mediation analysis anti-transgender prejudice in hiring recommendations. Psychology of sexual orientation and gender diversity, 2(4), 463–469. Scholar
  66. Reips, U. (2000). The web experiment method: Advantages, disadvantages, solutions. In M. Birnbaum (Ed.), Psychological experiments on the Internet (pp. 89–117). New York, NY: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Ringo, P. (2002). Media roles in female-to-male transsexual and transgender identity formation. The International Journal of Transgenderism, 6(3), 1.Google Scholar
  68. Shelley, C. A. (2008). Transpeople: Repudiation, trauma, healing. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  69. Shin, W., & Huh, J. (2011). Parental mediation of teenagers’ video game playing: Antecedents and consequences. New Media & Society, 13(6), 945–962. Scholar
  70. Shook, N. J., & Fazio, R. H. (2009). Political ideology, exploration of novel stimuli, and attitude formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 995–998. Scholar
  71. Soni, P., & Singh, R. (2012). Mediation of TV advertising to children: An empirical study of Indian mothers. Society and Business Review, 7(3), 244–259. Scholar
  72. Staiger, J. (1990). Announcing wares, winning patrons, voicing ideals: Thinking about the history and theory of film advertising. Cinema Journal, 29(3), 3–31. Scholar
  73. Strasburger, V. C., & Wilson, B. J. (2002). Children, adolescents, & the media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  74. Taylor, T. (2015). Why 2015 was the year of trans visibility. Vogue. Retrieved from
  75. Van Raaij, W. F. (1986). Cognitive and affective effects of TV advertising on children. In S. Ward, T. Robertson, & R. Brown (Eds.), Commercial television and European children: An international research digest (pp. 99–109). Hants: Gower.Google Scholar
  76. Vittrup, B. (2009). What US parents don’t know about their children’s television use: Discrepancies between parents’ and children’s reports. Journal of Children and Media, 3(1), 51–67. Scholar
  77. Whittle, S., Turner, L., & Al-Alami, M. (2007). Engendered penalties: Transgender and transsexual people’s experiences of inequality and discrimination. London: Press For Change.Google Scholar
  78. Wilcox, W. B. (2002). Religion, convention, and paternal involvement. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(3), 780–792. Scholar
  79. Wiman, A. R. (1983). Parental influence and children’s responses to television advertising. Journal of Advertising, 12(1), 12–18. Scholar
  80. Worthington, E. L., Jr., Wade, N. G., Hight, T. L., Ripley, J. S., McCullough, M. E., Berry, J. W., et al. (2003). The Religious Commitment Inventory–10: Development, refinement, and validation of a brief scale for research and counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50(1), 84. Scholar
  81. Zhang, Q. F. (2014). Transgender representation by the People’s Daily since 1949. Sexuality and Culture, 18(1), 180–195. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AdvertisingUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication StudiesUniversity of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public RelationsTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

Personalised recommendations