Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Communication and Information

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Anthony Limperos

Second Advisor

Dr. Kyra Hunting

Abstract

The “slasher” sub-genre has been immensely popular, even spawning television shows that invoke the familiar slasher conventions. This sub-genre has simultaneously become vilified by media researchers over the years. The slasher has received particular criticism for allegedly reinforcing regressive attitudes regarding female sexuality. This study applies sexual script theory to better understand the messages about sex found throughout the sub-genre. This study utilizes content analysis to study the more recent iterations of the slasher sub-genre including the re-make, the modern slasher film and the slasher television show. This analysis uncovered that the slasher sub-genre has evolved over time. While slasher re-makes reinforce some regressive attitudes regarding female sexuality through scripts, there were also many instances in which these films present a more accepting acceptable view of female sexuality, as well as a healthier view of male sexuality. Furthermore, this analysis uncovered that the slasher films and the slasher television series serve as sites for more favorable attitudes towards female and non-heteronormative sexualities, as well as for the portrayal of a masculinity that is not dependent on the constant desire and satisfactory execution of sex. Finally, the slasher television shows, in particular, provided a more complex look at sexuality by asking prompting deeper questions about the ramifications of changing sexual norms.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.462