Positive Representation of Gay Characters in Movies for Reducing Homophobia

Goran Madžarević, María T. Soto-Sanfiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This study addresses the effect of narratives offering a positive depiction of gay men on the audience’s change in attitude towards homosexuality. Specifically, it analyzes the relationship of character identification, inter-group contact, religiosity and gender with homophobia reduction. One hundred and fifty students of a Serbian University (M Age  = 22.13, SD = 2.28) filled in a questionnaire measuring socio-demographic information and the instrument H25 assessing homophobia. Two months later, they watched a movie depicting gay men in a positive manner and completed a questionnaire containing the homophobia scale and questions related to identification with the main character, inter-group contact and religiosity. The results showed that watching the movie is related to a reduction of homophobia and that character identification and inter-group contact are negatively correlated with homophobia, whereas religiosity is positively correlated with it. Results also show that there is a negative correlation between religiosity and the attitude change induced by the movie, and that men express higher level of homophobia than women. The study contributes to the knowledge of the mechanisms reducing homophobia through media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-930
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Attitude change
  • Gender
  • Homophobia
  • Identification
  • Inter-group contact
  • Religiosity
  • Undergraduates


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