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Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s Portrayals in James Bond Films

Abstract

A quantitative content analysis of 20 James Bond films assessed portrayals of 195 female characters. Key findings include a trend of more sexual activity and greater harm to females over time, but few significant across-time differences in demographic characteristics of Bond women. Sexual activity is predicted by race, attractiveness, size of role, and aggressive behaviors. Being a target of weapons is predicted by size of role, sexual activity, and weapon use, while being harmed is predicted principally by role. End-of-film mortality is predicted by sexual activity, ethical status (good vs. bad), and attempting to kill Bond. This identification of a link between sexuality and violent behavior is noted as a contribution to the media and sex roles literatures.

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Acknowledgement

Thanks go to Zlatko Coralic, Vito Flitt, Renee Lawrence, Han Liou, and Marcy Woodard for their invaluable help in codebook construction and testing.

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Correspondence to Kimberly A. Neuendorf.

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Neuendorf, K.A., Gore, T.D., Dalessandro, A. et al. Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s Portrayals in James Bond Films. Sex Roles 62, 747–761 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-009-9644-2

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Keywords

  • Sex roles
  • Body image
  • Film
  • James Bond
  • Content analysis