Honors College Thesis


Do Slasher Films Breed Violence Against Women? Public Deposited

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  • A topic of concern for feminists, film critics, media researchers, and film scholars alike who believe in a causal connection between film violence and real life violence have found an enemy in the slasher film. Critics of slasher films, a subgenre of horror, often charge these films are uniquely violent toward women and feature violence juxtaposed with sexual images. According to research, "non-pornographic" images of violence against women, such as those found in slasher films, provoke negative responses that var from "changes in rape related attitudes to instances of aggressive behavior" among men (Linz & Donnerstein, 1986, p. 601). The purpose of this paper will be to explore the research that supports a link between slasher film violence and violence towards women. The first chapter of this paper will provide an introduction to the overall issue at hand, i.e. slasher film violence including definitions and statistics. The second chapter will provide a selective history of the slasher film. The third chapter will review the empirical research that shows a casual connection between media violence and violence against women exists and also theories explaining the effects of media violence on viewers. The four and final chapter will provide a discussion and conclusion on the information included in the previous chapters. It is the position of this paper that there is indeed cause for concern.
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