Scholars examining homosexual television characters have typically come to one of two conclusions: either exposure to homosexual characters can lead to increased acceptance, or homosexual characters serve to reaffirm negative stereotypes. We seek to bridge these two bodies of research by introducing the concept of stereotyped identification—the idea that cognitively and emotionally identifying with fictional characters can increase acceptance of minorities, while reinforcing implicit stereotypes about how they look, act, and talk. Results from our national survey (N = 972) offer support for this hypothesis.
- Attitudes toward homosexuality
- homosexual television characters
- media representations
- mediated intergroup contact
- stereotyped identification