'Girls Gone Wilde': Cultivation, Socialization, and the Quagmire of Consent

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McMichael, Jovi-Cherise
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Middle Tennessee State University
In a content analysis of 50 films, Bufkin and Eschholz (2000) noted, “The media have been implicated in the propagation of rape myths in American society.” The research for this thesis sets out to explore this issue through the analysis of media messages that crop up not just in Hollywood crime dramas but also in pornography and rape jokes. The study found that although Hollywood crime dramas and pornography, at least on the surface, appear to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding attitudes toward consent, the combined message is actually quite clear: in order for rape to be considered as such, it must be an extreme case, brutal to the point of being cringeworthy. This, in turn, is likely to have contributed to the dismissive attitude toward sexual abuse that has paved the way for societal acceptance of rape jokes.
Media, Pornography, Rape culture, Rape jokes, Sexual socialization, Socialization agent, Mass communication, Gender studies, Sociology