Prejudice and Morality in Responses to Films About Lesbians: From Perceived Realism to Enjoyment and Appreciation

Adriana Ibiti, María T. Soto-Sanfiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

1 Citation (Scopus)


© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This article observes to what extent prejudice towards lesbians (homophobia) and the moral evaluation of this sexual orientation affect responses to narratives about lesbians and towards their lesbian protagonists. Two hundred six students (79.6% women, M Age = 20.68, SD = 2.36, Rg Age = 18–33) of different sexual orientations completed a questionnaire that measured homophobia, the morality attributed to lesbians and familiarity with lesbians in everyday life. Following this, they watched a film about a lesbian community with a morally controversial lesbian protagonist. Later, they completed a questionnaire that measured the protagonist’s attributes and characteristics, the perceived realism of the story, enjoyment and appreciation. Statistical analyses show that homophobia and morality impact on the evaluation of the lesbian protagonist’s actions and attributes and enjoyment of the film. Nonetheless, homophobia, morality, familiarity with lesbians, and the gender and sexual orientation of the receiver do not impact on appreciation or perceived realism. In fact, appreciation and perceived realism are independent of attitudes towards lesbians. These results reveal the role of prejudice and morality in film reception. They also enable us to characterise enjoyment and appreciation of stories particularly about lesbians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-604
JournalSexuality and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Appreciation
  • Enjoyment
  • Homophobia towards lesbians
  • Lesbian films
  • Lesbian morality
  • Morality
  • Perceived realism
  • Sexual orientation


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