In this article, the authors examine accounts of heterosexuality in media for children. The authors analyze all the G-rated films grossing $100 million dollars or more between 1990 and 2005 and find two main accounts of heterosexuality. First, heterosexuality is constructed through hetero-romantic love relationships as exceptional, powerful, magical, and transformative. Second, heterosexuality outside of relationships is constructed through portrayals of men gazing desirously at women's bodies. Both of these findings have implications for our understanding of heteronormativity. The first is seemingly at odds with theories that claim that heterosexuality's mundane, assumed, everyday ordinariness lends heteronormativity its power. In fact, the authors suggest heterosexual exceptionalism may extend the pervasiveness of heterosexuality and serve as a means of inviting investment in it. The second offers ways to begin to think about how heteronormativity is gendered and racialized.
- Media/mass communications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science