Publication Date


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Mass Communication and Society


The potential of television to both reflect and shape cultural understandings of gender roles has long been the subject of social scientific inquiry. The present study employed survey methodology with 420 emerging adult respondents (aged 18 to 25) in a national U.S. sample to explore associations between amount of time spent viewing television and views about “ideal” masculine gender roles. The viewing of particular television genres was explored in addition to (and controlling for) overall amount of time spent with the medium, using cultivation theory as the theoretical foundation. Results showed significant statistical associations between viewing sitcoms, police and detective programs, sports, and reality television and scores on the Masculine Roles Norms Inventory-Revised scale. Biological sex of respondent (which very closely approximated gender identity in the sample) moderated a number of these relationships, with positive associations between viewing some genres and endorsement of traditional masculine gender roles stronger for biological male compared to biological female respondents.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Mass Communication and Society on 21 November 2017, available online:



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