Sexual References and Consequences for Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Characters on Television: A Comparison Content Analysis

Bradley James Bond, Brandon Miller, Jennifer L Stevens Aubrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A content analysis was conducted to examine sexual references and consequences among lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB), and heterosexual characters on television. The sample was composed of programs portraying an LGB lead or reoccurring character. Results showed that heterosexual and LGB characters engaged in sexual talk and behavior in similar contexts. When discussing LGB sexualities, however, heterosexual characters were disproportionately likely to make jokes; LGB characters were disproportionately likely to discuss coming out. LGB characters depicted in sexual references were more likely to be in dialogue with a heterosexual character than another LGB character. Sexual consequences were more common for heterosexual characters than LGB characters. No gender differences existed in frequency of sexual references or consequences among LGB characters, evidence that the sexual double standard found in previous research may not apply to LGB characters. Results are discussed in terms of potential effects of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalMass Communication and Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 12 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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