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Fear and loathing at the cineplex: Gender differences in descriptions and perceptions of slasher films

by J M Nolan, G W Ryan


This study investigates gender-specific descriptions and perceptions of\nslasher films. Sixty Euro-American university students (30 males and 30\nfemales) were asked to recount in a written survey the details of the\nmost memorable slasher film they remember watching and describe the\nemotional reactions evoked by that film, A text analysis approach was\nused to examine and interpret informant responses, Males recall a high\npercentage of descriptive images associated with what is called rural\nterror, a concept tied to fear of strangers and rural landscapes,\nwhereas females display a greater fear of family terror, which includes\nthemes of betrayed intimacy, stalkings, and spiritual possession. It is\nfound that females report a higher level and a greater number of fear\nreactions than males, who report move anger and frustration responses.\nGender-specific fears as personalized through slasher film recall are\ndiscussed with relation to socialization practices and power-control\ntheory.

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